As the availability of COVID-19 vaccines increases, employers have an opportunity to implement on-site vaccination programs. CDC’s new guidance offers employers tips on how to implement such programs and outlines steps employers should take before reopening workplaces.
The guidance notes that these programs can benefit employers and workers. Employers are able to keep their workers healthy, which reduces absences and improves productivity. Workers benefit by the convenience of receiving the vaccine at work.
CDC encourages employers to partner with local health deparments, and involve management, human resources and employees in the planning process. Planning should include gaining management support, naming a vaccine coordinator and working with local healthcare providers and pharmacies.
The agency also recommends that employers place educational materials in common areas throughout the work site to raise awareness of the program and communicate the importance of being vaccinated. Once the program is in place, CDC suggests staggering scheduling of vaccinations in case employees experience adverse side effects and need to miss any work time due to symptoms such as a post-vaccine fever. CDC advises employers to reference additional guidance on evaluating and managing post-vaccination symptoms.
While vaccinations are a positive step toward bringing employees back to the workplace, CDC encourages employers to consider other factors before restarting regular operations, including:
- The necessity for employees to physically return to the workplace and whether telework options can continue
- Community transmission of the virus (how many infections there are and how fast it’s spreading)
- The ability to practice physical distancing and other preventive measures, like wearing masks, when in the workplace
- Local or state mandates for business restrictions
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