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COVID-19 vaccine —
what employers need to know

Vaccination is a vital tool for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. And the more people get vaccinated, the sooner we can all get back to the moments we’ve been missing. Kaiser Permanente has implemented a vaccine requirement policy across our organization to protect our physicians, employees, members, and communities – and now we’re calling on other business leaders to do the same.

The business case for having a vaccine policy

Getting employees vaccinated is more than just the right thing to do — the health of your business depends on it. Of course, it’s possible that customers who oppose vaccines could disapprove. Employees who refuse to get vaccinated could quit or be terminated.

But the threat of another surge and subsequent shutdown poses far greater economic and employment consequences. And a fully vaccinated workforce is a potential business advantage — many consumers and job applicants are actively seeking out companies that are taking action to keep their employees and customers safe.

For insights and tools for implementing a vaccine policy at your business, download the workforce vaccine policy toolkit >

As trusted sources of information, employers play an important role

Encouraging employees to get vaccinated

Communicate

  • Survey employees to determine if they’re willing to get vaccinated and identify barriers that can be addressed.
  • Be sure to use a culturally and socially sensitive communication approach.
  • Provide information about the vaccines to employees and their family members. Information delivered by physicians. external link is especially compelling.

Collaborate

  • Reach out to health plan and retail pharmacy partners to explore ways to increase vaccination rates.
  • Connect with unions or partners such as Health Action Alliance to help employees get information and access to the vaccine.

Accommodate

  • Provide flex time or time off for employees to get vaccinations for themselves and their dependents, and to manage side effects. Eligible employers may qualify for a tax credit for providing paid time off.
  • Assist employees in making appointments.
  • Explore whether a workplace vaccine clinic. external link would work for your business.

Building confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine

Lead by example

  • Let employees see how you and other leaders in the workplace are participating in vaccination efforts.
  • Share pictures and positive stories from those who have already received the vaccine, focusing on on why they chose to get vaccinated.

Build awareness

  • Share clear and simple information about how the vaccine works, using a variety of communication tools (social media, employee newsletters, printed materials, etc.).
  • Prepare to address anti-vaccination perspectives and myths. Provide a forum where it’s safe to talk about mistrust and fears around the vaccine.

Anticipate cultural and social considerations

  • Lead with empathy and remember that cultural experiences are diverse and unique.
  • Provide information on vaccine safety and access in multiple languages if needed.

Share information from reliable sources like Kaiser Permanente

Help your employees understand how the vaccines work, how effective they are, and how we know they’re safe — as well as how to get vaccinated and what to expect.

COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use or FDA-approved

  • Pfizer vaccine: FDA-approved for people 16 and older. Authorized for emergency use for those 5 to 15, as a 3rd dose for certain immunocompromised people, and as a booster for certain groups.. external link
  • Moderna vaccine: Authorized for emergency use for those 18 and up, as a 3rd dose for certain immunocompromised people, and as a booster for certain groups.. external link
  • Johnson and Johnson vaccine: Authorized for emergency use for people 18 and up and as a booster.

How a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine was developed in record time

Under normal circumstances, it takes years to develop a vaccine and make it available to people. But COVID-19’s swift and devastating impact meant we simply couldn’t wait that long. Thanks to extraordinary efforts, the COVID-19 vaccine was developed in record time while following all the FDA’s safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing standards. Several factors helped make this possible:

  • Established research
  • Widespread collaboration
  • Unprecedented funding
  • High numbers of clinical trial volunteers
  • Rapid results
  • Front-end manufacturing

Learn more about how we did it. external link — and how we know the vaccines are safe and effective.

Achieving and advocating for vaccine equity

Everyone deserves the opportunity to be vaccinated to help protect them from COVID-19. Kaiser Permanente has always been deeply committed to health equity, and we’re ideally positioned to help reduce health disparities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our vaccine equity efforts include:

  • Leveraging the power of our integrated care system to help ensure equitable vaccine access for our members and communities.
  • Working in close coordination with Federally Qualified Health Centers and community-based organizations to support increasing vaccination access.
  • Creating a comprehensive COVID-19 education campaign to provide trusted information and increase vaccine confidence within African American, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.
  • Providing $35 million in grants to support nearly 300 nonprofit and community-based organizations that are providing direct assistance to the people most affected by COVID-19 in communities across the United States.

Want more information about the COVID-19 vaccine?

Check out our latest full collection of coronavirus resources for businesses.

See the latest vaccine updates. external link we’ve shared with your employees on kp.org.

For information about Kaiser Permanente health plans