In November we asked for thoughts from people who work in the industry and from employers about the challenges posed by vaccination. Would people get the vaccine? Could employers insist on it?
Now the vaccines are here and decisions must be made about what is right for individuals. “I will definitely get vaccinated as soon as I am able,” the chairman of a big Midwestern A-E firm told us in the autumn. He said he found vaccine hesitancy, as it is called, perplexing, since it meant that people are resisting a method of protecting themselves and their families. “In fact,” he continued, when at a clinic to get a COVID test, “my nurse wasn’t sure she would get vaccinated. These are the very people that are giving us healthcare guidance!”
Another reader was mainly concerned with how the rapidly developed vaccines would affect and interact with the human immune system. “My family members have a tendency towards a number of autoimmune disorders and severe allergies, and I am affected too,” she wrote. She took pains to point out that she did not harbor extreme anti-vax views and that she approached skeptically anything she read about the subject on social media. Although she said she understood mandatory vaccines were for “the greater good,” she said she “would quit any job that required any type of vaccine.”
A lot more has happened in the last two months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that construction workers wait behind other essential workers and get vaccinated in the rollout’s phase 3. And while Americans have been lining up for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in what is admittedly a slow and uneven rollout, Johnson & Johnson is seeking emergency approval in the U.S. for its vaccine. Meanwhile, new virus variants are taking hold.
Do you face tough choices about vaccines and the workplace? Let us know with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (use the word “vaccine” in the subject field) or leave a comment on the online version of this article. If you email, we’ll only post comments without attribution unless we discuss whether you wish to be quoted. We value your input about this critical health decision and how it could change the trajectory of the hoped-for recovery in 2021.