Recommended Business Actions to Support Childhood Vaccinations
As employers, we can help working parents return to the office and make sure their kids remain safe and healthy, their schools and daycare centers open. Here are ways that your business can reduce barriers for working parents who choose to get their eligible children vaccinated for COVID-19 and caught up on other routine immunizations.
1. Offer paid time off or flexible scheduling for workers who choose to vaccinate eligible children against COVID-19 and other routine immunizations.
You can make sure that parents don’t have to choose between a paycheck and the health of their children. Providing paid time off or flexible scheduling, especially to lower-wage, hourly workers, will help parents have the time they need to get their eligible children vaccinated.
2. Offer support to working parents who may need help scheduling vaccine appointments or accessing vaccines for eligible children.
Significant barriers exist for many working parents who want to vaccinate eligible children for COVID-19 and catch up on other routine immunizations. For example, families with more than one child may benefit from support with free or discounted child care while they attend vaccine appointments. Working parents who don’t live near vaccine sites or a pediatrician’s office may also benefit from transportation support; here, an employer could offer a public transportation pass, or an Uber or Lyft gift card. Finally, employers can offer assistance in scheduling appointments for workers who don’t have reliable internet access or who may have language barriers.
3. Reinforce (and make sure) COVID-19 vaccines are free for your workers and their families.
The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. If you offer an employee health plan and have questions about whether administrative fees are a covered benefit, you should contact your plan administrator. No one should be denied a vaccine because they are unable to pay.
4. Plan an on-site COVID-19 vaccine clinic open to all employees and their families.
Hosting on-site vaccine clinics for families is a great way to improve access, boost morale and help protect your employees, their families and the community from COVID-19. And, your employees will appreciate your efforts to keep them and their families safe. CDC offers guidelines and best practices to determine if an onsite clinic is right for your business, and you can reach out to your local public health department to see if they would help organize an on-site vaccine clinic at your facility.
5. Offer modest incentives to encourage working parents to vaccinate eligible children.
Many businesses have incentivized workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Employers may want to consider similar prizes, rewards or other incentives (i.e., gift cards, coupons, tokens, etc.) to working parents who choose to vaccinate their children.