What Firms Should Consider Before Making The COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory For Employees

It’s been well over a year since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. Within this period, millions have died, and millions more have recovered. While some countries have managed to reduce the rate of infection, this is not the case with many others. Fortunately, pharmaceutical companies have developed COVID-19 vaccines which have been certified to be efficient against the virus. These vaccines, which provide acquired immunity against COVID-19, will go a long way as India fights corona.

As the world sees a savior in these COVID-19 vaccines, the situation may not be so black and white for organizations. Despite the amount of data collected on the incidence of this pandemic, many still believe conspiracies touting the coronavirus pandemic as a hoax designed to serve the higher purpose, albeit sinister. Situations like this have made the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination a societal and political issue; thereby, complicating vaccination strategy for organizations.

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While employee health and welfare are paramount to companies, they must ensure they carefully design their vaccination strategy to ensure they pass across the right message. According to a survey carried out by Gartner, 60% of HR leaders reported that they will only encourage their employees to get vaccinated. The proportion of these leaders that believed getting a COVID-19 vaccination an ethical issue was less than one-third.

Before firms make final decisions on what their COVID-19 vaccinations strategy will be like, they should ensure they find answers to these questions.

Should employee vaccination be made compulsory?

As stated earlier, many people do not believe in the genuine threat posed by the coronavirus. This situation (and others) will create a situation whereby some employees will refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine. In creating a vaccination strategy, organizations must consider the effect of these possibilities.

For employees that get the vaccine, the organization must understand that many in their household might not benefit from such privileges. In addressing this situation, firms must create campaigns that reduce the skepticism surrounding the vaccination exercise.

Firms should place themselves in positions where they’re seen as reassuring the public of the safety of the vaccines. Also, companies can engage in pandemic-related public health measures and community vaccine programs.

Should the organization administer vaccines to its employees?

It’s without a doubt that a company’s vaccination strategy is closely tied with its return-to-workplace strategy. Since leaders might want employees back at their desks, they must prioritize employee health and welfare.

While a handful of COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use by authorities, pharmaceutical companies are yet to produce enough quantities to reach everyone. What this means is that vaccination policies will vary by country and quantity available. In making vaccination guidelines, organizations must put this into perspective. This will help to decide on the most appropriate step – vaccinating through the organization or not.

How will vaccination affect company operations?

As organizations prepare their vaccination strategies, they must ensure they run many scenario plans. If anything, the pandemic has started a new wave of change, and these changes wouldn’t disappear with the pandemic.

However, with the vaccine, many aspects of social life would return. But the uneven distribution and availability of the vaccine and unequal delivery schedule mean this wouldn’t happen overnight. Certain health measures such as social distancing will still be in place. Organizations should embrace this reality and create multiple scenarios of how this can affect their operations.

Reference: Will you require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine? | Jackie Wiles | December 14, 2020

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