When Hippocrates said, “Desperate times call for desperate measures,”- he was not wrong. With COVID-19 doing the rounds, we have never been in a more vulnerable situation than this in the last 100 years. Lockdown was declared worldwide leaving companies with no other option but to run the work-from-home culture. However, things have stabilized a bit with the introduction of vaccines finally.

With vaccines available in the market, employers are considering reopening workplaces and welcoming employees. But this idea will not be compelling as people are scared to go out without getting vaccinated. To address this issue, most corporations are carrying out a workplace vaccination program.

Because at the end of the day, restoring the pre-pandemic scenario is an enticing prospect for companies worldwide.

Benefits of Workplace Vaccination

By introducing good policies and sharing medical information with employees about the COVID-19 vaccination, organizations can raise vaccine uptake among their workforce. The vaccine can be limited, but it is never too late to keep employees informed about the situation irrespective of availability.

This further leads to building strong confidence with a level of transparency between employers and employees. Also, as an employer, you can involve your staff in plans to deal with vaccine shortages.

Benefits--For-employers-and-employees--1

Now both employers and employees alike will avail benefits if every employee gets vaccinated.

For Employers

1. Employee Health

Corporates these days are hell-bent on making sure their employees stay fit and fine. So, when a health threat such as COVID-19 is around, you can bet that every organization would look for ways to ensure safety for the workforce.

Nobody would want their staff to be down with the coronavirus. Especially at a time when employee health is topmost priority for employers. For this reason, when vaccines became available, everyone tried to get their hands on them.

And why not?

Once organizations implement workplace vaccination programs, they can immunize their entire workforce, keep employees healthy, and prevent them from getting infected.

Because after all, a healthy workforce can deliver more and produce profitable results for the organization.

Additionally, employees who work on the field are more likely to get stricken with COVID-19, for they are constantly moving. So, getting them their vaccine doses ought to be the most pressing matter.

2. Employee Loyalty

These are challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered everyone helpless. When employers offer vaccination programs at work in a situation like this, all employees will feel gratefulness.

With the reopening of workplaces, none of us want to take the risk of exposure. On this front, if employers decide to get their workers vaccinated, it works for the best.

Then employees will acknowledge the fact how their managers have taken employee health as a priority. This will boost them to work at their top efficiency levels, ensuring fruitful results for the company. Hence, the entire workforce will be dedicatedly loyal to the organization.

3. Publicity

As we know, vaccines are less in terms of availability at the moment. Hence, organizations opting for workplace vaccination programs and going through with it are taken in high regard. Because they have proved that employee well-being is of primary importance to them.

And with the whole staff being vaccinated, it is nothing less than an achievement. Moreover, in the present world, news spreads like wildfire. So, as soon as corporations manage to immunize all their workers, they would be highly admired and looked up to a great extent.

4. Absenteeism

How often do we skip work when we are all fit and steady? Like never, right? Yes, of course there are moments of laziness or non-productive days, but that is a different thing altogether.

Otherwise, an active lifestyle keeps us going always. Similarly, when employees take their vaccine shots, the fear of getting infected will no longer be there.

As a result, lives will be back to normal, and work will resume fully without fail. Thus, the absence rate will fall, and employees will start attending offices regularly.

Along with that, companies will start incurring fewer healthcare costs due to employees not falling victim to severe sickness anymore.

5. Productivity

As they say, “Healthier the workforce, the more productivity there is.” This statement holds true because we come up with excellent results when our bodies and mind are functioning healthily. Therefore, a fit body implies more efficiency, and it stimulates the company's growth.

Meaning, together with employee well-being, workplace vaccination warrants employee productivity, thereby creating a win-win situation for employers and employees alike.

For Employees

1. Good Health

As much as the well-being of employees is crucial for employers, it is not more than self-wellness. For instance, employers might be seriously concerned about their staff's health but ultimately an employee's wellbeing matters more to him than to the company.

Meaning, an employee’s health is vital for the organization he works in, but it is more important to himself.

So, when employers carry out a vaccination drive at work, employees will benefit the most, for they no longer have to be worried about going to offices. Good health will be attained and what’s better than that?

2. Uninterrupted Commute

Work from home is almost the new work culture now. The pandemic has thrown people in their homes and forced them to operate from there.

As good as it sounds, it is not always merry. Being holed up in homes has led to issues of depression and anxiety. And coping with these is not a cakewalk.

Under such circumstances, the introduction of vaccines served like a boon.

With employees eventually getting adjusted to the remote working culture and the idea of a sedentary lifestyle, things have not been easy.

This needs to stop for a better corporate culture. Therefore, organizations should try to persuade the workforce to come out of their homes and join work if laws permit.

And it can be possible when workplaces conduct vaccination programs. Because once they are done, workers do not have to be skeptical whether going to the office is safe or not.

Even public transportation would be OK to commute in. In other words, there will be uninterrupted traveling as vaccines play the role of a shield in this.

3. Higher Efficiency

If I lead an active lifestyle at home and work, everything I do would have a practical approach. Correspondingly, healthy employees would discharge their duties most efficiently.

So, with vaccines comes good health. As a result, chances of employees falling sick would lessen, and their performance would stay intact.

4. Deep Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is highest while working at a place where our leaders become our inspiration and when we know we can truly rely on them. Such is the case if employers implement their vaccination programs just like other corporate wellness programs.

Companies should be able enough to convince their employees to take the shots for their good. They have to inflict fitness motivation in their workforce, especially after COVID-19 has messed up the minds of everyone.

The moment employees take the shots; there will be a sense of relief as they will be out of the danger zone. When employers successfully carry out the drive and get all employees vaccinated, the latter will start idolizing the former.

As they will know, their organization prioritizes their well-being over anything else together with establishing workplace health and safety.

Options for Employees

Options-for-employees

Whether with the help of COVID-19 vaccine or a primary flu shot, keeping the staff all up and moving is imperative. Earlier, the vaccine was made available to medical workers. But ever since it has gotten public access, a level of competition has started.

With its limited availability, the demand has multiplied. At a time like this, corporations should gear up and equip themselves with vaccination shots enough to cover the doses of all employees. Also, the vaccination venue can be either within the office premises or not.

1. Vaccination On site

There can be several ways to offer the vaccination program in the office itself. For this, the employer may require to-

  • Bring mobile clinics in the workplace
  • Utilize the existing hall areas for this purpose

Setting up an on-site vaccination program is going to take much input from the top management. The first and foremost requirement is to contact the health department for proper guidance.

Only then can organizations go forward with the program because it will involve trained nursing staff. And these healthcare providers have to monitor the condition of the employees post-vaccination.

Also, the vaccination program must take place during working hours and be free of charge.

2. Vaccination Off site

The vaccine requirement is highest at the moment. And if companies do not find it apt to implement vaccine programs at work, they should resort to other options such as-

  • Arranging vaccination sessions for employees by collaborating with nearby mobile clinics or hospitals.

However, off-site vaccination entails more responsibilities on the part of employers.

  • Along with finalizing a community site for vaccination, managers must ensure that all employees are well aware of the same. They should spread the knowledge through company newsletters and emails.

  • Mentioning the venue and documents to be carried to the site is mandatory, such as employee IDs or vouchers.

  • Provisions should be made to give vaccine shots during work hours.

  • Companies ought to reimburse employees for the transportation cost.

  • Employees need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at zero cost.

How to Encourage Employees for Workplace Vaccination?

It is evident that in these critical times, getting vaccinated falls into the priority. Despite this, there can be employees who might have general objections to taking the shot, be whatever reason.

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This gives rise to a problematic situation for the employers, for they cannot simply adhere to their mandate. Neither can they opt for termination because it would seem unfair.

Instead, in order to address this problem, employers may look for ways to get employees on board through-

1. Education Campaigns

If you are an employer, you must take the responsibility of explaining to your employees how taking the vaccine is suitable for both them and the people around them. They need to be told about the risks they pose to their families and the outer world if they stay unvaccinated.

2. Easy Access to Vaccines

Once you decide to introduce workplace vaccination, make sure employees know that it is accessible and there is no hassle in getting it. All they have to do is be up for it.

3. Free of Charge

Covid times have made people suffer from a financial crisis. It further led people to be more economical and spend accordingly. Employees might not express, but there are chances that they are not willing to incur more expenses in terms of vaccination costs. Hence, making the program charge free will be a wise idea.

4. Incentives

For employees showing resistance to taking vaccination shots, there is another way.

Why not offer them incentives?

Meaning, assign rewards against the workplace vaccination program. No vaccine equals no rewards. Give out incentives for employees who are fully vaccinated. By doing this, you might be able to bring employees on board with the whole vaccination plan.

Because no one would like to lose their chance at earning incentives.

5. Paid time off

Offer paid leaves to employees for getting off-site vaccination and also provide them with flexible time to recover from side effects, if there are any.

Vaccine Confidence

Vaccine-confidence

Vaccine confidence- the term looks very appealing and actually is. It implies the trust employees and their families have in the workplace vaccination program.

Starting from recommended vaccines, providers to manufacturing and licensing, vaccine confidence includes them all.

It is essential when you want your workforce to come aboard with the vaccination plan. In case they do not, follow these-

  • Be the leader you are. Be transparent with your employees and share the significance of the vaccination program for both personal and professional reasons.

  • Put stress on the benefits and provide your employees with updated information about COVID-19 figures and vaccination.

  • Be clear of the various side effects and benefits of the vaccine by offering daily updates, especially new and updated information.

  • Make it fun and celebrate by offering badges to vaccinated employees. Also, you could ask them to wear these badges to work post-vaccination and post pictures of the same on social media.

Good Practices

Workplace vaccination programs have more to them than just on-site and off-site vaccination. Irrespective of the place where employees are getting their coronavirus vaccine shots, employers have certain added obligations.

  • You ought to let the vaccine confidence grow among your employees. The fact that they might be a little skeptical regarding the vaccine is quite understandable. So, all you need to do is offer your unconvinced employees an extended amount of time to get used to the idea.

Do not rush them. Allow them to see the coworkers who took the shot to gain their trust. As for the mobile clinics providing vaccination, they can return to the worksite multiple times. While with the hospitals, the period of vaccination can be prolonged.

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  • As we know, vaccines cause several side effects, to begin with. So when you implement the vaccination program at work, keep in mind the repercussions of the same. Thus, in such a situation, allow your employees to take paid sick leaves in case they develop symptoms post-vaccination.

  • Invite people from the community or a healthcare individual who can impart knowledge about the available COVID-19 vaccines.

Reopening the Office

Reopening-the-workplace

Post complete vaccination, employees may resume whatever was stopped due to the pandemic. But when it comes to workplaces, things cannot get back to normal so soon.

I mean, the Covid restrictions still should be followed regardless of whether employees took the shot or not. Because coronavirus is not gone for good and is still out there. As a result, all of us should protect ourselves in these times just to be extra safe.

Strict covid protocols should be followed in work settings such as-

  • Wearing masks at all times

  • Employees staying 6 ft apart from one another

  • Washing hands frequently

  • Making the office less crowded

Proper workplace assessment must be done to recognize potential workplace threats concerning COVID-19. The more employees start coming to offices and interacting with each other, the more exposed they are to the outer world.

And no matter whether they have gotten their vaccinations done, taking safety measures is of no harm.

Availability of Covid-19 Vaccines

Availability-of-covid-vaccines

Manufacturing of vaccines is being done on a colossal scale worldwide. Each has its formula and reactions. Let us talk about the few available vaccines around the world.

1. Pfizer-BioNTech

  • mRNA vaccine (it forms a blueprint for making protein)
  • Individuals with allergic reactions to any of its ingredients should avoid taking this vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 95%
  • Eligibility: 12 & older
  • Side effects: Nausea, headache, chills, muscle pain, fatigue.
  • 21 days between the first and second dose

2. Moderna Vaccine

  • mRNA vaccine (it forms a blueprint for making protein)
  • Individuals with allergic reactions to any of its ingredients should avoid taking this vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 94%
  • Eligibility: 18 & older
  • Side effects: Nausea, headache, chills, muscle pain, fatigue, vomiting, fever.
  • 28 days between the first and second dose

3. Janssen/ Johnson & Johnson

  • Vector vaccine (it uses a modified version of a different virus to take information to the body cells)
  • Individuals with allergic reactions with any of its ingredients or polysorbate should avoid taking this vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 85%
  • Eligibility: 18 & older
  • Side effects: Shortness of breath, stomach pain, headache, blurred vision, chest pain.
  • Single-dose

4. Oxford AstraZeneca

  • Vector vaccine (it uses a weakened version of a common cold virus from chimpanzees to take information to the body cells)
  • Individuals with allergic reactions to any of its ingredients should avoid taking this vaccine.
  • Effectiveness: 90%
  • Eligibility: 18 & older
  • Side effects: headache, fatigue, muscle pain, fever, chills, nausea
  • Two doses with 90 days apart

5. Sputnik V (Gamaleya)

  • Vector vaccine (it uses a modified version of two harmless common cold viruses to take information to the body cells)
  • Individuals with allergic reactions to any of its ingredients should avoid taking this vaccine
  • Effectiveness: 91.6%
  • Eligibility: 18 & older
  • Side effects: flu-like illness, headache, fatigue.
  • Two doses with 21 days apart

Besides the vaccines mentioned above, new ones are coming into the scene with variable efficacy rates.

Wrapping it Up

In these hard times, act as a savior for your workforce and provide them safety. Keep your employees and workplace safe and healthy by implementing workplace vaccination as a part of your employee wellness programs.

Let us all play our part in preventing the spread of the virus and helping restore the world to what it once was.

This article is written by Dipshi Bhattacharjee. Besides working as a Content Writer at Vantage Circle, she is an animal lover with a huge fascination for Cinema, Television & Foreign languages. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com