Needle drawing from vial

Many large employers are expecting to offer COVID-19 vaccines on-site for workers by the end of the year, finds a survey released last week by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. The agency surveyed 151 employers and other purchasers and found that 80% of very large firms, or those with more than 10,000 employees, anticipate offering vaccines to employees on-site.

Although larger companies are considering on-site vaccine clinics, just 8% of those surveyed said they anticipate making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for workers. Those results are in line with recommendations from the Health Action Alliance, a joint initiative launched in February to provide resources to the business community to help companies deliver information to employees on COVID-19 vaccines.  

“Most companies are choosing not to mandate vaccines and instead are doing everything they can to remove barriers to vaccination and incentivize or make it easier for their employees to get vaccinated when it’s their turn,” Stephen Massey with the Health Action Alliance told attendees Monday during a LeadingAge online coronavirus policy update webinar. These incentives often include paid time off to receive the vaccine, transportation vouchers to help workers get to and from a vaccine appointment or small cash bonuses, he noted. 

Massey added that one of the most effective ways for employers to reduce vaccine hesitancy among employees is by offering on-site vaccination clinics. Although many long-term care operators already have completed vaccination clinics within their facilities for residents and staff, some independent living operators have yet to do so — and Massey says now is the time to make this commitment.

To help employers work through the process of offering on-site vaccinations in their state, the Health Action Alliance offers a quick start guide to help employers establish an employee vaccination plan. Massey also recommended that operators consider recently released resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically dedicated to helping employers establish a workplace vaccination program.