'Hero workers' may sabotage efforts during flu vaccine shortage

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Employees who come into work sick to avoid unscheduled absenteeism may cause facilities more harm than good, administrators warn.

Punching into work despite illness - being a "hero worker" - can present safety issues at long-term care facilities because employees are not working at optimum attention levels, says Camille Haltom, a benefits consultant with Hewitt Associates LLC.
 
"Presenteeism," the opposite of absenteeism, worries employers because workers do not perform at optimum levels and can spread germs through coughing and sneezing, according to the Unscheduled Absence Survey conducted by employment law consultant CCH Inc.
 
British authorities and the Federal Drug Administration found main vaccine manufacturer Chiron Corp. lacking in production processes, causing this season's shortage. As a result, the U.S. is expected to receive only half of its previously expected doses.