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Colorado mountain communities, ski areas relying on flu shots to keep economy running

Colorado mountain communities, ski areas relying on flu shots to keep economy running
Colorado mountain communities, ski areas relying on flu shots to keep economy running 01:59

With ski season and flu season right around the corner, Vail Resorts is now encouraging employees to get their flu shots (and COVID-19 shots while they're at it) in order to help keep their work staff fully operational no matter what sickness waves move through the high country.

"There is not an unlimited supply of employees," John Plack, Vail Resorts spokesman said. "The safer and healthier we can keep our employees on the mountain and at home through things like flu vaccines and COVID 19 vaccines ... we are supportive of all health and safety measures."

Each year there's a big push for folks to get their flu vaccine, and while Pharmacy Manager Mariah Mayerle said there was actually a increase in people coming in to get their shot while everyone was also coming in for COVID-19 shots, she said the increased health requests are weighing a bit on the public now.

"I've had a lot of people say 'I just don't want to get one more,'" Mayerle said, referencing the flu shot. "We are getting a lot of that injection exhaustion, they just don't want to do another shot specially with the new stuff coming out."

Still she said that's an obstacle it's best to push past.

"Flu is an easy-to-prevent disease, it is important to get this vaccine because they change every year."

Mayerle works at a pharmacy at a City Market grocery store. In order to get a flu shot at the Kroger business, Mountain Newsroom reporter Spencer Wilson filled out paperwork for about 7 minutes, and got one free of charge (included for everyone with health insurance.)

Mayerle said it's important to keep yourself protected against the flu in the event something else comes along.

"You get the flu, then all of the sudden you get COVID, or pneumonia or bronchitis or a sinus infection now you are sick another week," Mayerle said.

"You have to take more medication, have to go to the doctor again, and it is a lot of money you are putting out when it could have just been one shot to protect against at least that one particular thing."

And that's where our ski mountains come in. Keeping our lifts running our resorts is a huge part of the economy in the mountains as the snow gets ready to fall. Keeping the workforce healthy enough to do that can be done easier with some preventative measures, according to Mayerle.

"I definitely saw it right here in the grocery store," she said. "It is a huge problem when you cannot work because you are sick but you also don't want to come into work and get someone sick and then they can't work and then it's a snowball effect of everyone is out."

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