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COVID-19 vaccines are now highly available across the country. Employers large and small are bringing teams back to the workplace. Risks are lower for those who have received their vaccination; however, the pandemic threat is increasingly high for unvaccinated individuals. Risk is also high for employers as they determine how to maximize pandemic protections for their workforce and increase vaccinations.

Polarizing political rhetoric, shifting public health guidance, economic pressures to resume business as usual, and the complexities of maintaining the employer-employee relationship pose serious legal, ethical, and logistical challenges for business leaders.

The business community must play a critical role in increasing COVID-19 vaccination for two major reasons:

  • Ensuring equity in vaccination remains essential for good business
  • Public and workforce health risks from COVID-19 variants are surging
 

An Evolving Virus

Without mass vaccination, the COVID-19 virus is evolving into new strains including the highly contagious, Delta variant.

  • Prevalence: The Delta variant represent the majority of cases across the US and the Indy Region.
  • Transmitability: Delta is 40-60% more transmissible than Alpha and nearly 2X more than the original Wuhan strain.
  • Severity: The Delta variant causes more infections, more severe illness, and spreads faster than early forms of COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals account for the vast majority of COVID deaths.
  • Impact: CDC Director Walensky called the current situation a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.
  • Employer response: Redoubling efforts to get workforce vaccinated is imperative. Many employers considering mandates or other strong inducements.
More on the Delta variant.

An Evolving Virus

Without mass vaccination, the COVID-19 virus is evolving into new strains including the highly contagious, Delta variant.

  • Prevalence: The Delta variant represent the majority of cases across the US and the Indy Region.
  • Transmitability: Delta is 40-60% more transmissible than Alpha and nearly 2X more than the original Wuhan strain.
  • Severity: The Delta variant causes more infections, more severe illness, and spreads faster than early forms of COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals account for the vast majority of COVID deaths.
  • Impact: CDC Director Walensky called the current situation a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.
  • Employer response: Redoubling efforts to get workforce vaccinated is imperative. Many employers considering mandates or other strong inducements.
More on the Delta variant.

Vaccine Equity

Throughout the pandemic, Black residents and other communities of color have faced disproportionate risks related to COVID-19. Vaccination rates have also been persistently lower for Black, Hispanic, and Asian communities than their white counterparts. Closing this vaccine equity gap remains an imperative for business and community leaders alike. Follow the links below to see the latest data on vaccination rates by race.

Indiana COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard
(statewide data, filter for county-specific results)

Indiana Health Information Exchange Vaccination Report
(county-specific data profiles)

More on vaccine equity from the National Academies of Science Engineering & Medicine.

Vaccine Equity

Throughout the pandemic, Black residents and other communities of color have faced disproportionate risks related to COVID-19. Vaccination rates have also been persistently lower for Black, Hispanic, and Asian communities than their white counterparts. Closing this vaccine equity gap remains an imperative for business and community leaders alike. Follow the links below to see the latest data on vaccination rates by race.

Indiana COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard
(statewide data, filter for county-specific results)

Indiana Health Information Exchange Vaccination Report
(county-specific data profiles)

More on vaccine equity from the National Academies of Science Engineering & Medicine.

Thanks to the following partners for making this Playbook possible:

 

Questions about vaccination best practices for employers? Please contact Taylor Hughes at thughes@indychamber.com.