It’s never been more important to have a vaccination plan for your workforce.
While about 85% of Americans have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, the US is now averaging more than 2 million shots a day. But even as vaccine supply and demand increase, many healthcare workers are still reluctant to roll up their sleeves. The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor reported that 29% of healthcare workers are vaccine-hesitant. Refusal numbers are especially high among people of color, CNAs, and nursing home employees.
How to Boost the COVID-19 Vaccination to Your Team
The research is clear: more vaccinations equals quicker recovery, which means it’s essential to get your healthcare workers on board. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance allowing employers to require inoculations. However, forcing the issue may not be the best approach.
Here are a few ways to promote COVID-19 vaccinations at work.
Explain the benefits and provide accurate information
KFF reported that vaccination refusals are most commonly due to concerns about unknown side effects and the vaccines’ expedited authorization. With so much misinformation and uncertainty floating around, you can best serve your nurses, CNAs, and others at your facility by creating a vaccine communication plan.
Concentrate on opening an honest dialogue and offer fact-based educational materials. Refusing the vaccine is a personal decision for many, so hearing the stories of other healthcare workers who have been inoculated may be as effective as recent research. Above all, don’t dismiss your team’s concerns or reasons for hesitancy.
Offer an incentive (if possible)
Companies like Kroger, Aldi, and Amtrak have all announced financial incentives for employees who get vaccinated. Others like Target have partnered with pharmacy chains to streamline the process of offering vaccinations to workers.
Direct incentives, such as payments and one-time bonuses, are still considered a grey area and best avoided. But according to the EEOC, workplace wellness programs can offer limited incentives, so long as they remain voluntary.
A few ideas to consider:
- Covered vaccination administration costs
- Paid time off work to get vaccinated
- Free transportation to and from vaccination site
- A small “thank you” such as a gift card, free lunch, or promotional gift (water bottle, phone case, t-shirt, etc.)
Develop a workplace vaccination program
For some workers, especially those in healthcare who work ‘round the clock, the biggest difficulties of getting vaccinated may be practical. To help expedite the process, consider offering your team free COVID-19 vaccinations at work. If your institution doesn’t already have permission to give vaccinations on-site, check the CDC’s guidelines for preliminary steps.
Schedule all vaccinations during work hours so healthcare staff don’t have to come in early or stay late. It’s also a good idea to stagger shifts so they can take sick leave in case of side effects.
Keeping Track of Workplace Vaccinations
Whether you make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory or leave the choice open, you’ll likely need to find a way to document the process, if only for legal reasons.
It may be tempting to start a spreadsheet with employee names or file paper documentation. But with three vaccines now on the market with different requirements and doses, that may just create extra work. Having a centralized database with expiration notices is an efficient and effective way to manage workplace vaccinations.
With a single platform to work from, you can update employee records with doses, dates, and documentation securely from multiple locations. An intuitive platform will also alert you of upcoming expiration dates and simplify sending bulk and individual reminders to facility staff.
While we’re scarcely out of the woods yet, COVID-19 vaccinations represent hope for future recovery. Support your workers and business by creating a vaccination communication and management plan today.
Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and on-board healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.