The COVID-19 Vaccine Changes the Game
Worldwide, the COVID-19 virus has claimed more than 1.65 million lives. It has affected millions more, disrupting everyday life through illness, school closures, and job loss. As such, developing a COVID-19 vaccine to halt further spread was a major focus of 2020. Distribution is now the main focus for 2021. The vaccine should have great positive implications for your employees and organization, helping return the workplace to normal.
How did all this happen?
The nature of the virus itself was one reason the COVID-19 vaccine was able to reach clinical trials quickly. While the COVID-19 strain is more recent, researchers first identified the coronavirus family of viruses in the 1960s. Scientists have since identified hundreds of coronaviruses and began researching vaccination for them years ago.
Another reason is thanks to advancements in technology and biomedicine. Through the hard work of many researchers and doctors, scientists can now understand the genetic sequencing of a virus. Learning how a virus enters and infects cells is easier than ever before. It took researchers only two weeks to determine how COVID-19 enters cells.
Funding was also a key component of COVID-19 vaccine development. Many agencies provided major funding for accelerated development and manufacturing, including:
- United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC),
- and the Department of Defense.
This financial support has allowed companies to speed up the development process while maintaining standards for safety and efficacy.
In certain situations, the FDA can give emergency authorization for a vaccine. This authorization is combined with CDC approval on recommendations for use. What this means is that FDA and the CDC have agreed that the benefits outweigh the risks for each approved vaccine.
What this means for you and your employees
The COVID-19 vaccine is a landmark moment for scientific research. But it will also allow us to return to normalcy – and back to work. Businesses that have remained closed or remote can begin to think about return-to-work procedures.
Vaccine distribution is currently limited, but it will increase in the weeks and months to come. When vaccine distribution becomes more widespread, encourage your employees to seek immunization. You can share resources from Anthem.com, or they can talk to their doctor if they have questions. Help your employees know you support them and appreciate them getting the vaccine to help stop the pandemic.
You can also remind them of their insurance benefits. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available at no cost to them through Anthem/Empire. Some employers might offer an incentive or a raffle for those who receive the vaccine, or even hold a clinic at their worksite if budget allows. You can help support your team in many ways.
The COVID-19 vaccine could truly be a game-changer – not only to stop the spread of this virus, but also to return employees and your company to normal. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.