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The COVID-19 vaccine: what companies need to know

For employers looking to get their workforce safely back into the office, here's what to consider around employee health, safety & privacy.


While the COVID-19 vaccines have brought some immediate relief and hope for the future, the rollout across the U.S. has come with its share of complications. The lack of a singular information source regarding vaccine availability and protocol–coupled with the evolving data on new, more transmissible variants–have made it difficult for people to feel like they have a handle on the latest information. For employers who are looking to get their workforces safely back into the office, there is a lot to consider around employee health, safety, and privacy.

We know our clients have a lot on their plate, so we brought together medical, research and legal experts for one, comprehensive discussion in our webinar: The COVID-19 Vaccine: What Companies Need to Know.

Watch the clips below for a full recap of our conversation.

Watch: The latest on the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

The latest on the vaccine rollout across the U.S. | Collective Health

Jim Maliekal, PharmD, Pharmacist, Research and Population Health

Jim Maliekal, one of our pharmacists with over 30 years of experience, discusses the U.S.’s vaccination progress, including information on each of the vaccines available today, current national vaccination rates, predicted distribution timelines, and questions we still need answered.

“Now the take home message here is […] that these vaccines to-date are very safe and effective. They reduce your chance of getting severely sick, preventing hospitalization and dying from COVID illness.”

Noteworthy statistics (as of 2/25/2021):

  • 6% of the total US population has been vaccinated with both doses.
  • About 13.4% of the total population have been partially partially vaccinated, meaning that they’ve received at least one dose.
  • Of the 82 million or so doses that have been distributed to the States about 79% of them have actually been administered.
  • As of today (2/25/2021), we’re seeing about 1.28 million doses being administered per day.

Watch: The latest on the vaccine rollout across the U.S.

Important considerations for your health plan | Collective Health

Dr. Sanjay Basu, VP of Research and Population Health at Collective Health, Director of Research Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, and board-certified Internal Medicine physician

Dr. Sanjay Basu, our VP of Research and Population Health, discusses the considerations Collective Health is taking with clients to ensure a smooth and successful vaccination rollout for members.

“We have a core analytics team dashboard of COVID-19 vaccinations, which describes who is getting the vaccine but in a privacy-respecting manner, so [the data] is aggregated.”

Dr. Basu’s 5 considerations for employer health plans include:

  • Ensure your health plan design maximizes vaccine access.
  • Check the prioritization of your population, particularly in coordination with local departments of public health, typically at the county level, but sometimes also at the state level.
  • Educate your employees at the local level by developing and disseminating educational materials on local vaccine distribution, and assist those who have difficulty scheduling.
  • Consider onsite clinics to maximize access.
  • Keep track of claims data to understand who is not vaccinated even after they’ve been deemed eligible and determine how to send targeted messaging accordingly.

Watch: Important legal considerations for your vaccination-related policies

Important legal considerations for your vaccination-related policies | Collective Health

Lisa Barnett Sween, Office Managing Principal, San Francisco, Jackson Lewis P.C.

“[…] you really want to make sure your managers and your human resources people are paying attention to these sort of potential legal minefields in navigating through vaccination policies.”

Lisa Barnett Sween, Office Managing Principal for Jackson Lewis P.C., a national employment and labor law firm, discusses important considerations as you think about rolling out a vaccination policy with your workforce, touching on everything from accommodation analyses to things like potential incentives, payment obligations, and privacy concerns.

Note: As Lisa stated in the presentation, if you need legal advice, please contact your in-house or outside counsel.

For the latest information on COVID-19, including coverage, testing and vaccinations, please refer to our regularly-updated blog post here.

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