Are Feds Able to Handle Vaccine Logistics?
As vaccines for the coronavirus go before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval, the logistics of getting them to the general public are still a work in progress. For example, some of the vaccines have to be stored at extremely cold temperatures and must be administered within a certain time after defrosting.
In a recent “State of COVID-19 Response” online panel discussion hosted by the National Safety Council (NSC), Arizona State University biomedical diagnostics professor Mara Aspinall predicted that state governments will tap workplaces to be “central logistical hubs” for coronavirus vaccination because “CVS and Walgreens don’t have parking lots big enough” to accommodate the anticipated demand. “It’s absolutely critical that we do this together,” she said.
This might be a good time to check with your state’s public health department about their coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, if it could involve your company and what safety measures would have to be taken if called on to administer vaccinations to employees.
Another member of the NSC panel, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry President and CEO Gene Barr, commented that employers will have a crucial role to play by sharing the facts about the vaccine with their workers and encouraging them to get vaccinated. When asked if states could potentially mandate 100% workforce vaccination for some industries, Barr said no because of federal laws that are in place. For example, employees have the right to refuse vaccination if it’s against their sincerely held religious beliefs.
If your company doesn’t already address the vaccine in its COVID-19 policies, now’s the time to start
a discussion with leadership to get a sense of how your organization will approach the next phase of pandemic employee safety issues.