Tag: Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccination Programs in the Workplace

Now that eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine has expanded to all U.S. adults, many employers are trying to determine the best ways to disseminate vaccine information as well as face the decision of whether or not to hold in-workplace vaccination programs.

If you’re an employer considering holding a COVID-19 vaccination program, here is some additional information from the Employee Wellness team at Cornerstone Insurance Group that may help you in your decision.

Who Should Hold a Vaccination Program On-site?

While employers should strive to make vaccine information accessible to all employees, many workplaces should think about holding programs on-site. 

You may consider an on-site program if:

  1. A large number of your employees work on-site with regular schedules.
  2. You’re able to enroll within your jurisdiction’s immunization program as a vaccination provider (this may include conducting appropriate training).
  3. You have a workplace that’s large enough to accommodate a clinic while maintaining social distancing each step of the way.

How Do I Plan an On-Site Vaccination Program?

If you’re planning to hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at your workplace, there are a few tasks you need to prepare ahead of time:

Contact the Health Department

Your local health department will have the resources and information you need to set up the clinic properly and within guidelines. They can also offer guidance on how to make it efficient as well as eligibility requirements.

Consider Partnering with a Vaccine Provider

There are likely many vaccination providers in your community that help run events just like this one. They typically deliver worksite flu vaccination services but many have expanded their offerings to include COVID-19 vaccinations. These providers have trained nursing staff available, can take care of billing insurance for any administration fees and can also take care of reporting your workplace’s vaccine administration data to immunization registries.

Vaccination partners should also be aware of the warning signs of vaccine reactions, such as anaphylaxis.

Provide Easy Employees Access to Vaccines

If you’re thinking about hosting a vaccine clinic at your workplace, make sure it’s a day and time during which the majority of employees can attend (i.e. during work hours). You should also be mindful to make vaccine access easy for all employee types, whether they’re full-time, part-time, contractor or temporary. 

In addition, consider offering more than one opportunity for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Mobile clinics should be able to return to your workplace multiple times on a rotating schedule.

What About Off-Site Vaccination Programs?

If your workplace is not eligible to host an on-site clinic — or if it’s not feasible or the best option — you might consider hosting an off-site vaccine program. This is also a good option for companies that:

  • Are small or midsize
  • Have mobile or remote employee populations
  • Have workers with varying schedules
  • Have a majority of employees who would prefer a community-run clinic than one in the workplace

If you’re planning an off-site vaccine program, you may consider working with a mobile vaccination clinic to set up at a community location. You can also work with pharmacies that are enrolled in the Federal Retail Pharmacy program, or local healthcare provider offices and health centers. 

How Can I Encourage My Employees to Get the Vaccine?

Whether your workplace is able to host a clinic on-site, partners with a community clinic or cannot do either, there are many ways in which you can encourage your employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

  • Allow employees to get vaccinated during work hours
  • Educate employees with the resources and information they need to know how, when and where they can get vaccinated as well as what they need to bring
  • Identify any potential barriers that are unique to your workforce that may prevent team members from getting the vaccine
  • Encourage your leaders to be vaccine champions and communicate with employees

Building confidence in the vaccine increases the likelihood of your workplace returning to a more normal state of being. Healthy workers are happy workers!

Still have questions about holding vaccinination programs through your workplace? Let the wellness specialists at Cornerstone help. Contact our team today.

Flu Shots: What You Need To Know

Considering the recent events in 2020, it should be more apparent that the seasonal flu is taken seriously. With the COVID-19 vaccine still in preproduction stages, numerous sources are citing it won’t be available until late in 2021. While we are taking more precautions than ever before due to COVID-19, we still need to keep the approaching flu season top of mind.

Protecting yourself against the flu is more important than ever. This fall there will be two respiratory viruses circulating making it possible to contract a double infection. The influenza vaccine can minimize at least one of the potential respiratory infections. If you were to get sick with influenza your body’s immune system is weakened making it more vulnerable to a possible coronavirus infection. Besides protecting yourself, you help prevent the spread of the virus to your family and those in the community who may not be able to get the vaccine.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the reports of people testing positive for COVID-19, without ever having any symptoms. The same thing is possible with the influenza virus, you can spread it without ever having symptoms of being sick. This is the reason healthcare professionals are required to get the flu vaccine every year, protecting themselves and the people around them.

Transmission

The main mode of transmission is by particles in the air and on contaminated surfaces, making washing your hands and using hand sanitizer important to stopping the spread of the flu virus. An infected person can spread the flu virus to an average of 1.3 other people. This number may be higher in families living together and those who are working in close proximity to each other. The virus can be transmitted one day prior to the infected person experiencing any symptoms and can continue to be contagious 5-7 days after the onset of symptoms. Individuals with compromised immune systems may remain contagious for several days longer than that.

Prevention

The most important step you can take to prevent getting and spreading the flu is getting vaccinated every year. Washing your hands and using hand sanitizer often is are also important ways to reduce the transmission of the virus. Take care to help younger children wash and sanitize their hands often as well. The CDC estimates that over 20 million people each year will contract the flu, however, it is estimated that the flu shot will save around 40,000 lives each year. Even if you are young and healthy, the flu vaccine can prevent you from spending 2 long sick weeks in bed and can save the lives of those around you.

Flu Facts

  • The flu infects an estimated 20-40 million people a year in the US alone.
  • Of those infected, over 61,000 deaths occurred in the 2017-2018 flu season.
  • There were a reported 600,000+ flue related hospitalizations in the 2017-2018 flu season.
  • Each year the CDC watches trends and tracks the different strains or mutations of the virus to formulate the most effective vaccine for the current flu season.
  • The best time to get the flu shot is early on in the season and as it takes up to two weeks for your body to build up an immunity to the virus.
  • Once you have the flu, antibiotics will be useless to help with symptoms. Instead, use of antivirals should be taken under doctor supervision as early as possible for best results.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to take care of ourselves and those around us. Be mindful of those who are more vulnerable, or those who can’t get vaccinated due to underlying health issues. Getting vaccinated helps everyone in the long run. For more information on the flu shot, don’t forget to check out our webinar on flu shots.