Universal paid leave increases influenza vaccinations among employees in the U.S.

Fernando A. Wilson, Yang Wang, Jim P. Stimpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: We predict the impact of paid leave in increasing influenza vaccinations for employees, thus decreasing workdays lost and healthcare visits resulting from infection. Methods: Nationally representative data from the 2006-2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used. We examined working adults aged 18 and above (N= 51,471). Logistic regression measured the association of paid leave with flu vaccination. We predicted the impact on labor and healthcare markets if universal paid leave were provided. Results: The proportion of workers receiving vaccination annually was higher for those with paid leave versus without paid leave (34.0% vs. 21.0%, P<. 0.001). Adjusted odds of having a vaccination increased with paid leave vs. without paid leave (OR. = 1.42, CI: 1.31-1.53). Universal paid leave is predicted to increase vaccinations by 1.6 million, resulting in 63.8 thousand fewer absences from work and 18.2 thousand fewer healthcare visits for the flu annually. Conclusions: Our study suggests that employees without paid leave are significantly less likely to have had a flu vaccination. Expanding paid leave could substantially increase flu vaccination, resulting in fewer workdays lost to influenza and savings in healthcare costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2441-2445
Number of pages5
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 1 2014


  • Influenza
  • Sick leave
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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