With all the changes businesses had to go through a year ago, the widespread roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines is welcome news. As more and more individuals get vaccinated with the hope to return to somewhat normal life, businesses must find ways of managing and tracking workers who have received the vaccination in order to plan accordingly.
Knowing the vaccination status of every employee is crucial to creating a safe workplace for everyone. As more information becomes available about the long-term effects of the several available COVID-19 vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other authoritative health entities review and update their guidelines and recommendations on acceptable and safe interactions between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
As you can imagine, there are so many ethical considerations on how private healthcare information such as whether an employee is vaccinated or not should be handled, and every employer must be aware of what practices are acceptable or not in documenting the vaccination status of their employees.
To help employers navigate this new world of COVID-19 vaccinations, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set up a Workplace Vaccination Program that is intended to help employers handle workplace COVID-19 vaccination processes.
According to the CDC, an employer can support and promote a COVID-19 vaccination culture within their organization by providing accurate and relevant information about COVID-19 vaccination and “establishing supportive policies and practices” that can help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Strong confidence in the vaccine would naturally lead to more people opting to get vaccinated which reduces the spread of COVID-19 and consequently reduces absenteeism, hospitalizations, and death. The more people that get vaccinated within a company, the more other employees will feel comfortable getting their vaccination as well. Promoting a positive culture and celebrating COVID-19 vaccinations within the workplace can:
- improve employee morale
- reduce COVID-19-related absences
- decrease disruption of workflow
- reduce absence due to illness
- increase productivity
What Employers Should Be Doing Now
Every employer wants a productive and balanced workforce. With COVID-19 leading to illnesses and absenteeism, and so much inaccurate information surrounding the vaccines, this is the time to start building vaccine confidence for employees.
Here are some steps to help build vaccine confidence in your workplace:
- Conduct a toolbox talk by adapting key messages defined by the CDC in the language, tone, and format that will resonate with your organization.
- Share local health department information on a regular basis.
- Have open discussions allowing employees to ask questions and air any concerns.
- Encourage leaders in your organization to share their stories and testimonials about how and why they got vaccinated.
The content delivery module in the SafetyTek platform can help to easily communicate these messages to employees and also track who has consumed the information.
While no one can be forced to get the vaccine, keeping track of employees who have received a partial COVID-19 vaccination, a completed dose of the vaccine, and those who are unvaccinated is important in providing a workspace that is safe for all employees.
Knowing which of your employees are at greater risk of getting sick or spreading COVID-19 will help you plan your workspaces accordingly. In the event of an outbreak as well, employers can identify, inform and/or isolate employees that either haven’t been vaccinated or are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
SaftyTek’s COVID-19 Solution helps businesses track and report on key data related to employee vaccinations. Collecting information more efficiently and having all your data in an easy-to-track system, allows you to focus on prevention and reduce incidents of COVID-19 infections to create an overall safer environment for all employees.