- What are the benefits of having a workplace COVID-19 vaccination program?
Making COVID-19 vaccination part of your workplace wellness program offers many benefits to you and
your employees. To keep your workplace healthy, consider offering free, on-site COVID-19 vaccination
at your business locations.
Potential benefits to employers:
- Keep the workforce healthy by preventing employees from getting COVID-19
- Reduce absences due to illness
- Reduce time missed from work to get vaccinated
- Improve productivity
- Improve morale
Potential benefits to employees:
- Prevent COVID-19 illness
- Reduce absences and doctor visits due to illness
- Offers convenience
- Improve morale
If your business can’t offer COVID-19 vaccinations on site, or if your state or jurisdiction has determined
that your business is not a suitable location at this time, encourage employees to seek COVID-19
vaccination in their community and provide them with information about where they can get the
- How does my workplace implement a COVID-19 vaccination program?
Employers considering implementing a workplace COVID-19 vaccination program should contact the
health department in their jurisdiction for guidance. The planning process for hosting a workplace
COVID-19 vaccination program should include input from management, human resources, employees,
and labor representatives, as appropriate. Important preliminary steps include obtaining senior
management support, identifying a vaccine coordinator, and enlisting expertise from local public health
authorities, occupational health providers, and pharmacies. Additional considerations for hosting a
vaccination clinic can be found in CDC’s Guidance for Planning Vaccination Clinics Held at Satellite,
Temporary, or Off-Site Locations and Resources for Hosting a Vaccination Clinic. COVID-19 vaccination
providers can also review Interim Considerations: Preparing for the Potential Management of
Anaphylaxis After COVID-19 Vaccination.
- Will use of COVID-19 vaccines be mandated under Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs)?
No, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not mandate vaccination. However, whether a state,
local government, or employer, for example, may require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter
of state or other applicable law.
- Can I require my employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their medical
conditions or religious beliefs?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides guidance on mandatory vaccination
against H1N1 influenza. The EEOC guidance may be applicable to COVID-19 vaccination, which became
available in December 2020.
For employers covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “…an employee may be entitled to
an exemption based on an ADA disability that prevents him from taking the influenza vaccine.”
For employers covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “once an employer receives notice
that an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance prevents him from taking the
influenza vaccine, the employer must provide a reasonable accommodation unless it would pose an
“Generally, ADA-covered employers should consider simply encouraging employees to get the influenza
vaccine rather than requiring them to take it.”
See question 13 for more information from the EEOC, available
- What kind of exemptions typically accompany employee vaccination programs?
Two types of exemptions can be implemented: medical and religious exemptions. Some people may be
at risk for an adverse reaction because of an allergy to one of the vaccine components or a medical
condition. This is referred to as a medical exemption. Some people may decline vaccination because of a
religious belief. This is referred to as a religious exemption. Employers offering vaccination to workers
should keep a record of the offer to vaccinate and the employee’s decision to accept or decline
- Can I require people to get vaccinated as a condition of work? Can I require proof if someone claims to have been vaccinated?
Whether an employer may require or mandate COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of state or other
applicable law. If an employer requires employees to provide proof that they have received a COVID-19
vaccination from a pharmacy or their own healthcare provider, the employer cannot mandate that the
employee provide any medical information as part of the proof.
- How can I encourage my employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Consider hosting a vaccination clinic at your workplace, and contact the health department in your
jurisdiction for guidance. Offer the vaccination at no charge and during work hours. If hosting a
vaccination clinic at your workplace is not possible, consider other steps to encourage vaccination, listed
- Be flexible in your human resources policies. Establish policies that allow employees to take paid
leave to seek COVID-19 vaccination in the community. Support transportation to off-site vaccination
- Use promotional posters/flyers to advertise locations offering COVID-19 vaccination in the
community. Display posters about COVID-19 vaccination in break rooms, cafeterias, and other hightraffic areas.
- Post articles in company communications (e.g., newsletters, intranet, emails, portals) about the
importance of COVID-19 vaccination and where to get the vaccine in the community.
- How can employers reassure employees that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, even though it is
COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as all other vaccines. The federal
government has been working since the pandemic began to make COVID-19 vaccines available as soon
as possible while ensuring they are safe and effective through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority. COVID-19 vaccines were tested in large studies that
included thousands of adults of varying ages, racial and ethnic groups, and health status. The study
results showed that the vaccines met rigorous safety criteria and provided protection from COVID-19 in
the study populations.
The most common side effects were pain at the injection site and symptoms like fever and chills. These
side effects tended to be mild to moderate and went away quickly on their own. Many had few or no
severe side effects. In addition, adults over 55 had fewer and milder side effects than younger people.
Learn more about what steps are taken to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
- What information should employees get before vaccination?
COVID-19 vaccines will initially be available through the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program. The law
requires that vaccination providers participating in the program provide vaccine recipients with certain
information, including an EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients about the vaccine they are
receiving and possible side effects, as well as a vaccination record card with the name and manufacturer
of the vaccine they received, where they received it, and when they need to return for a second dose of
vaccine if required. You can also hand out this flyer from CDC.
- After employees have been vaccinated, can they stop practicing other preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks?
No. CDC recommends that people continue to take these and other preventive measures after they
are vaccinated. Even if employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it will be important for them to
continue other preventive measures such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding
crowds, washing hands often, and cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently. It takes time for your body to
build protection after any vaccination, and the COVID-19 vaccine may not protect you until a week or
two after your second shot (dose). Together, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and following CDC’s
recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and
- If we vaccinate our employees, can we return to or reopen the workplace?
It is important to conduct a thorough assessment of the workplace to identify potential workplace
hazards related to COVID-19. Widespread vaccination of employees can be one consideration
for restarting operations and returning to the workplace. Other considerations for returning to the
- The necessity for employees to physically return to the workplace and whether telework
options can be continued
- Transmission of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the community (how many
infections there are and how fast it’s spreading)
- The ability of employees to practice social distancing and other prevention measures, like
wearing masks, when in the workplace
- Local or state mandates for business closure restrictions
- What should we tell employees to do if they develop a fever after getting vaccinated?
Employees who experience a fever after vaccination should, ideally, stay home from work pending
further evaluation, including consideration for COVID-19 testing. CDC has released guidance, which
includes suggested approaches to evaluating and managing post-vaccination symptoms, including fever.
- What should I do if people call in sick with side effects?
In most cases, discomfort after vaccination from fever or pain at the injection site is normal and lasts
only a day or 2. You should encourage the employee to stay home and contact their doctor or
healthcare provider if:
- The redness or tenderness where they got the shot increases after 24 hours
- Their side effects are worrying them or do not seem to be going away after a few days
Learn about how to report a problem or bad reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Should we tell employees to report vaccine side effects?
CDC and FDA encourage the public to report possible side effects (called “adverse events”) to the
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Employers can also encourage employees to enroll in a new
smartphone-based tool called “v-safe.” CDC is implementing v-safe to check in on people’s health after
they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When employees receive a vaccine, they should also receive a v-safe
information sheet telling them how to enroll in v-safe. If they enroll, they will receive regular text
messages directing them to surveys where they can report any problems or adverse reactions after
receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC also provides recommendations for people who have had allergic
reactions to other vaccines and for those with other types of allergies.
- Should I continue to offer influenza vaccination to my employees?
Yes. It is important that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated to protect themselves from flu
every fall and winter. While getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it can
prevent people from becoming sick with flu and needing medical care. Flu is another serious respiratory
illness that can cause missed work, hospitalization, and, in some cases, even death. The combination of
flu and COVID-19 could overwhelm healthcare settings. However, people should not get the flu shot
within 14 days of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Should I include contractors and temporary employees in my COVID-19 vaccination plan?
For workers employed by contract firms or temporary help agencies, the staffing agency and the host
employer are joint employers and, therefore, both are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe
work environment. The extent of the responsibilities the staffing agency and the host employer have will
vary, depending on the workplace conditions, and should be described in their contract (Protecting
If you plan to offer vaccination at your workplace, consider providing vaccination to all people working
at the workplace, regardless of their status as a contract or temporary employee. What is most
important is to encourage everyone at the work site to be vaccinated, no matter what their work
arrangement is. If you do not plan to or are unable to offer work site vaccination, consider providing
information to those at the workplace about how to explore options for vaccination in the community.
- Should I stagger vaccination schedules for employees to avoid worker shortages due to
vaccine side effects?
Data from COVID-19 vaccine trials indicate that most side effects are mild. Most occur within the first 3
days of vaccination (the day of vaccination and the following 2 days, with most occurring the day after
vaccination), resolve within 1–2 days, and are more frequent and severe following the second dose. At
this time, we do not know how common these symptoms may be among employees. Nonetheless, we
expect that most employees who experience symptoms following vaccination will not need to miss
work. Please see CDC guidance for further information.
However, some employees who get vaccinated may have side effects, like fever, and might need to miss
work temporarily. CDC understands concerns about potential workforce shortages resulting from
vaccine side effects. Workplaces may consider staggering schedules for employees who receive
vaccination so that not all employees are vaccinated on the same day.
In addition, staggering may be more important for the second dose, after which side effects seem more
frequent. To help ensure continuity of operations, facilities may consider staggering vaccination for
employees in the same job category or who work in the same area of a facility. Staggering vaccination
for employees may cause delays in vaccinating your staff, and the decision to stagger vaccination will
need to be weighed against potential inconveniences that might reduce vaccine acceptance. Facilities
should evaluate their specific situation when determining their best approach. Facilities that choose to
stagger vaccine administration should also ensure all employees receive 2 doses as recommended.
- What if an employee has already had COVID-19? Should they still get vaccinated?
Yes. Both the virus that causes COVID-19 and the vaccine are new. We don’t yet know how long
protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination should
be offered to workers regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. Workers should not be
required to have an antibody test before or after they are vaccinated. Learn more about getting
vaccinated if someone has already had COVID-19
For more information, on how you can better protect your employees during COVID-19 by providing different health insurance options, please contact Next Generation Payroll today. Next Generation Payroll is a small black owned business located in the heart of Dallas, Texas. Our mission is to level the playing field on a national level for small businesses and communities. We help to improve digital marketing, HR Management, Payroll, and provide insurance options for employees and contractors. For more information please subscribe to our newsletters by filling out the form below.