News of the vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna took the world by storm in mid-November. From what we’ve learned so far, these vaccines could provide relief from the pandemic in the near future. As researchers and the Food and Drug Administration continue to look into the data, it is a smart idea for employers to begin to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine and employees returning to the workplace. Recent data shows that COVID-19 is a multi-system condition that affects more than a person’s lungs.
Autopsies of 22 Italian patients who had died from the disease found that the disease affects the heart, the liver, and the spleen. A handful of patients have needed double lung transplants after COVID-19 because their lungs were too damaged for them to live on.
Thus the announcement of a vaccine is not only exciting; it is possible that by preventing the disease through vaccination, we will also be keeping lifelong aftereffects of the disease at bay.
Thus more than ever, it is going to be important for employers to lead the charge in helping to put an end to the pandemic and its’ related effects.
In this post, we’ll talk about how you can start getting your workplace ready for the vaccine, once it is approved.
How Employers Can Prepare For The COVID-19 Vaccine
Work to come up with an internal strategy
It’s important from a corporate standpoint to come up with an intentional internal strategy for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The plan can answer questions like:
- Are you going to require employees to have the vaccine before they begin working or to continue working at your company?
- For those who refuse the vaccine, will they have to sign a waiver declaring so?
- Will the company cover the cost of employees receiving the vaccine?
- What conversations need to be had with the insurance company?
A documented internal strategy will inform the overall plan for the COVID-19 vaccine for your company.
Talk to your health insurance company
As you make your internal plans for a company-wide policy, it is important to have conversations with your health insurance carrier. The time to start those conversations is right now.
A plan for education
Your company must plan for educational sessions on the COVID-19 vaccine. This is going to be pivotal to your successfully implementing your company strategy.
Why? There is a long history of citizens not trusting the government agencies. This stems from a long history of certain populations being used unethically in experiments that were meant to test medications or study particular diseases. For people in these groups, they might be less trusting of the vaccine and wary of taking it.
In addition to this, there is a lot of conflicting and confusing information in the news. As a company, it will be important to consult with subject-matter experts who can provide unbiased education on the COVID-19 vaccine.
It may not be enough to send out educational videos and brochures. Having somebody tangible that people can ask questions will be important in helping employees get the facts they need.
Survey employees on their feelings regarding the vaccine
It will be important to survey employees on their feelings and needs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Somebody who has experienced a death in their family due to COVID-19 is going to have different needs from someone who may not even believe the COVID-19 pandemic is real.
Thus, it is important to survey employees on their thoughts and feelings to gain a good idea of where the educational focus for the vaccine should be. Simple surveys sent out using your wellness software may reveal so many factors that need to be addressed than if there was no survey.
The time to prepare your company for the COVID-19 vaccine is now. The above points should help you get started in the right direction.