COVID-19 Vaccination in the Workplace: FAQs for Employers
Pandemics require you to use every tool at your disposal to protect your employees, customers, vendors, and other partners from getting sick. That means washing hands, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and getting vaccinated. Ensuring that you and your staff are vaccinated will help protect your workforce, community, and business.
About the COVID-19 Vaccine
Why encourage COVID-19 vaccinations for your employees?
- Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect your employees and those around them from serious illnesses. For more information, check out the CDC's guidelines on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Supporting your workforce in their vaccination efforts improves employee satisfaction and loyalty.
- Vaccinated employees are less likely to contract COVID-19.
Why are COVID-19 booster shots recommended?
- You are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (2nd dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or 1st dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
- Vaccines are effective at preventing getting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID-19. However, protection decreases over time.
- The CDC recommends a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for everyone ages 12 years and older (Pfizer-BioNTech for ages 12–17; an mRNA vaccine preferred for ages 18 years and older):
- At least 5 months after completion of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) primary series.
- At least 2 months after completion of a Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine primary dose.
For more information, check out this information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots.
Will COVID-19 vaccines be required?
The CMS requirements for COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers are still in effect, External FAQ IFC-6 - 1.21.22 (cms.gov). While OSHA has rescinded its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employers with 100 or more employees, employers still should consult state and local requirements. Workpartners can assist your organization in staying up-to-date on developments. Contact your account manager for more information.
How long should employees quarantine if they are sick with COVID-19, or have a known COVID-19 exposure?
In some cases, guidance depends on whether people who are exposed to COVID-19 have recently had COVID and/or if they are up to date on their COVID vaccines. Please see the CDC site for more information about quarantine and isolation guidance COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation | CDC.
What information should I share with employees before they receive a vaccine?
The law requires all vaccination providers to give recipients an emergency use authorization (EUA) fact sheet. The EUA fact sheet provides information about the vaccine and possible side effects. It also includes a vaccination record card, the name and manufacturer of the vaccine the individual received, and when the individual needs to return for a second dose (if required).
Employers can also share the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website about what to expect from the vaccination process.
Do vaccinated employees need to continue practicing preventive measures?
The CDC recommends maintaining all preventive measures even after vaccination.
COVID-19 best practices remain unchanged at this time. Everyone—including those who have been vaccinated—is encouraged to wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, wash hands frequently, and clean high-touch surfaces often.
Should employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 get vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that people who have had COVID-19 be vaccinated. It is unclear how long the antibody protection lasts in individuals who were previously infected.
Can we return to our worksite once employees are vaccinated?
Many factors impact the decision to return to your work environment. Business owners should complete an assessment to identify workplace hazards related to the spread of COVID-19.
Review the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 for a comprehensive list of protocols.
You should also consider:
- How necessary it is for your employees to be in the workplace.
- The current COVID-19 transmission rates in your community.
- Whether employees can practice effective social distancing in your work environment.
What if an employee develops a fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine?
If an employee develops a fever after vaccination, the CDC recommends that you:
- Encourage the employee to stay home.
- Encourage the employee to seek further evaluation from a health care provider if the fever or other symptoms worsen or do not go away within a few days of vaccination.
- Review and share the CDC‘s information on post-vaccination side effects.
How should employers handle employees calling off sick after being vaccinated?
Some side effects—including discomfort at the injection site, fever, and joint pain—are common after the COVID-19 vaccine. Encourage employees to contact their health care provider if they:
- Have prolonged pain or redness at the injection site (more than 24 hours after receiving the vaccine).
- Are distressed about prolonged or persistent side effects.
Should employers offer flu clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. The flu is a separate, serious illness that can cause work absences, hospitalization, and even death. It is still recommended that everyone (six months and older) receive the flu vaccine every fall regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. People can get flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. Visit the CDC’s website for answers to frequently asked questions about the flu, COVID-19, and their respective vaccines.
Can Workpartners help employers and their employees during this time?
Yes! We offer services to help our clients.
- Consultative services for COVID-19 response, plans, and compliance with mandates.
- Onsite COVID-19 vaccination clinics facilitation
- Workpartners EAP services - If you or your staff are experiencing stress, anxiety, burnout, financial concerns, or other issues related to the current environment, Workpartners EAP can provide many supportive services including organizational consultations, Disruptive Event Management Crisis Support, Counseling for all staff, staff trainings, and more.
- Health coaching services - We can help your employees to make healthy lifestyle changes, from offering Lunch and learns on various health topics, to health coaching programs, and more.
- Don’t have Wellness or EAP services? No problem. Contact your account manager today!