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The Executive Briefing - Friday, September 9th

Why we should worry about this flu season

ZHH News:

Addressing Today’s Mental Health Crisis - Key to Managing Staffing and Turnover

With the NY State Restaurant Association

Tuesday, September 20th, 10-11:00 AM EST

Mental health is the leading cause of employee turnover, with 89% of employees who left their job this year reporting feeling burned out or unsupported. Economic uncertainty, stressful working environments, and more challenging interactions with guests and co-workers make restaurant and hospitality work more difficult than ever before. Despite this growing need for mental health support, many restaurant employees either don’t have or don’t know how to access mental health resources.

Our panel of experts will discuss what the current crisis looks like, why having an EAP alone may not be enough, and how to cost effectively offer resources and support to your employees while also mitigating your risk.

Click Here to Register Today!


  • The White House is urging people not to wait to get the new bivalent COVID booster. (NBC)
  • The US has dedicated $300 million to next-gen COVID tests that make tests more accessible for those with disabilities and easier to use in general. (SF Chronicle)
  • Vitamin D doesn’t prevent COVID or other respiratory infections, a new study proves, despite common misconception. (CIDRAP)
  • A Wisconsin hospital is requiring all of its employees who received religious exemptions over the use of fetal cell lines in mRNA vaccines to get vaccinated with Novavax, which did not. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
  • Very few kids are vaccinated against COVID. Pediatricians and public health personnel are trying to change that. (Scientific American)
  • NYC is relaxing a mask policy, and getting roasted for its new “you do you” ad campaign. (NPR)

MPX News:

  • A second person in the US has died while infected with MPX, this time in Los Angeles. Investigators are working to see if it was the main cause of death. (LA Times)
  • HIV positive people who have MPX are hospitalized more often. (CNBC)
  • Universities are using lessons learned from COVID to prevent outbreaks on campus. (Nature)

Public Health News:

  • Satisfaction surveys fail to track how hospitals treat patients of color. (NPR)
  • The WHO is launching a $1.5 billion campaign to fight bacterial meningitis across Africa. (AP)
  • Forehead thermometers may not be as accurate for Black patients. (NPR)
  • DHS has eased access to healthcare for immigrants, reversing a Trump-era policy. (STAT)
  • The first case of a dolphin infected with the bird flu poses another risk for humans, who are now warned to avoid physical contact with wild dolphins. (University of FL)

Mental Health News:

  • The link between Long COVID and suicide needs more study, experts say. (Reuters)
  • Climate change and rising temperatures lead to more hospitalizations and deaths due to mental health issues. (Psychology Today)
  • Teens confide in trusted educators more often than parents about mental health. (The Hill)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Best Questions:

Do I need a bivalent booster to be considered up to date?

Everyone 12 and up is eligible for a new bivalent booster. So unless you’ve had a specific situation (like an allergic reaction), pretty much everyone 12+ will be considered as NOT up to date on their vaccines until they get the new bivalent booster. The CDC is trying to move away from the idea that you need a certain number of doses, and move toward the new reality that you’re considered up to date when you get the most recent recommended booster. It’s a mental shift that they’re pushing hard amid the confusion of counting doses.

Can I get a flu and COVID shot at the same time?

You can get both a flu shot and the new COVID booster dose at the same time, just in different arms. There’s no increased risk, other than that you might have two sore arms for a day. The White House and CDC are encouraging people to go get both shots ASAP, and most pharmacies and healthcare providers in the US either already have doses of both, or will this week.

When should I get my flu and COVID booster shots?

While the CDC and White House are pushing people to go get boosted right away and highlighting that people can get flu and COVID booster shots on the same day, there’s just one catch; most experts agree that early September is just a tad on the early side for flu shots, given that flu season stretches throughout the winter and the flu shot wanes in protection over time. That said, there has been increased flu activity over the summer compared to normal years, and experts predict that this flu season will be a bad one.

This is a case of public health policy clashing with the science here. The science supports getting a flu shot in mid- to late-October to best protect you for the worst of the flu season. But public health policy experts know that getting people to go get shots is a real challenge, and convenience is paramount. The employers with the best flu shot uptake are hospitals that bring flu shots on carts around to every employee at their workstation.

So, where does that leave us? It ends up being a personal decision - some of our team are taking it earlier due to upcoming travel or life events. Others are waiting to get maximum protection for the holidays when they’ll see immunocompromised family members.

How should we communicate with employees about boosters and flu shots?

For your employee communication, we recommend the public health approach - encourage employees to go get both shots as soon as possible, knowing that many of them will put it off. We feel that our best bet to avoid a fall surge is getting as many people boosted with the new and improved bivalent boosters before the surge hits. We recommend organizing an on-site clinic where nurses come equipped with both shots, whenever you’re able to schedule one. ZHH can help you organize that – just email us at info@zerohourhealth.com for more info.

Best Read:

The Strongest Signal That Americans Should Worry About Flu This Winter

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.