Vaccines: how businesses can help restore confidence

Everyone is hoping that the vaccines will finally get rid of our masks. But we have to go the last mile from “vaccine” to “vaccination” before our world becomes safe again. This path is strewn with pitfalls. Some have been defined: linking suppliers, distributors and users of vaccines, promoting the cold chain or streamlining vaccine management, from setting priorities, administration, to monitoring adverse effects.

But other problems are not as well framed and cannot be solved as simply as by implementing a software package.

Reluctance to vaccinate, due to fear of side effects, is widespread. UA survey from the World Economic Forum in June 2020 showed that only 71.5% of participants would be very or somewhat likely to be vaccinated. However, to stop the spread of the virus, experts estimate that at least 70% of the population must be immunized. It is therefore essential to have confidence in the vaccine. Another problem is that other people who are not immune to the vaccine do not have the health coverage necessary for vaccination. Today, many voices are raised to denounce the rich countries which reserve vaccines to protect their populations. Research from the Duke Center for Global Health Innovation puts the number of these reserved doses at 9.8 billion.

It is clear that the time has come to work together to protect populations at risk in the first place so that they do not increase the spread and endanger all of our lives. Setting the goal of resolving the trust, equity and collaboration deficit should be as important as vaccine production and distribution.

Where businesses can contribute

Large employers can alleviate or even remedy the situation. Thus, 61.4% of people questioned in the framework of the same Forum survey would accept their employer’s recommendation to be vaccinated. Businesses can therefore play a vital role in knowledge of vaccines and build confidence in vaccination. One of the great advantages of promoting knowledge of vaccines is to convey that the vaccine is not a panacea. The first batches of the vaccine, like influenza vaccines which are only 40% or 60% effective, will reduce the risk of exposure, but will not eliminate it completely.

To stop the contagion and neutralize the virus, at least two-thirds of the world’s population should be vaccinated. Therefore, our communities will only become safe gradually, and in stages. Employers who promote standards and discipline in the workplace will play a vital role. Given that this is an adult vaccination on a scale we have never achieved before, it is only natural that the workplace becomes one of the main centers of evangelism and development. expansion of immunization coverage.

Employers can also play a critical role in identifying and prioritizing members of the workforce who work in critical occupations that make our society work, but who in turn also put them at risk. As we have seen, citizens believe that healthcare workers, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should be vaccinated at an early stage. However, as distribution progresses, employment records can be a rich source of demographic data to continue to support equitable immunization coverage.

Governments, central banks and organizations like the WHO are largely supported by big business. Public-private partnerships have been extremely useful, even when companies wage their own fight to protect their workers, redeploy their capacities to meet new urgent needs, ensure regular cash flow and keep the economy running. With contact case tracing applications, digital health passports, technologies for safer public spaces, vaccine discovery, logistics capacities for vaccine distribution and massive philanthropic funding to support communities, businesses are real partners for the States who are struggling to get through these difficult times. Businesses are particularly well equipped to be heard and reassure, and provide the transparency and clarity needed to counter the spread of mistrust and fear. We now have the chance to be the ambassadors of humanity, who move us all together towards a definitive end of this pandemic.

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