Axios’ recent analysis of CDC data shows more than half of unvaccinated Americans live in households with an annual income of less than $50,000–indicating barriers to vaccination may derive less from vaccine skepticism than from inaccessibility.
With employees concerned about childcare and missing work due to vaccination or its side effects, businesses have a big role to play in closing the gap.
The Center for American Progress offers ten recommendations for how companies can increase access to vaccination, including:
- Reimbursing transportation to vaccination sites or providing on-site vaccination;
- Hosting publicly accessible vaccination clinics;
- Offering workers paid leave for vaccination and recovery;
- Offering monetary incentives–or perks such as discounts–to vaccinated employees, and
- Educating employees on vaccination and supporting community awareness campaigns through trusted local messengers.
While most employers are stopping short of requiring employees to get vaccinated:
- Amazon is arranging on-site vaccination visits and reimbursing transportation to vaccination sites,
- Chobani is offering paid leave to employees for each vaccine dose appointment and the expected recovery, and
- Kroger is offering cash incentives and discounted services to vaccinated workers, or even preferred seating at sports and entertainment events.
Other companies paying employees or offering them paid leave to get vaccinated include Aldi, Amtrak, Dollar General, Instacart, McDonalds, Target and Trader Joe’s.
Public health officials have also offered new messaging guidance around the new FDA warning label on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, pointing out:
- “The risk of severe adverse events after any COVID-19 vaccination remains very low, and far lower than adverse health outcomes associated with contracting COVID-19,” and
- “The identification of any possible risks, like the low risks associated with the J&J vaccine, is a sign that the nation’s safety monitoring system for COVID-19 vaccines is working.”