Strengthening Workplace Vaccination & Safety in Response to the Delta VariantClick here for printable version
Updated: August 20, 2021
Also available in Spanish.
This Guide was developed by the Health Action Alliance, a unique partnership between leading business, communications and public health organizations to strengthen and accelerate the business community’s response to COVID-19 and help rebuild public health.
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Special thanks to the following organizations that provided additional content and support for this resource: COVID Collaborative, National Safety Council, Reimagine Main Street and Business Partners to CONVINCE.
As a small business owner, you’ve shouldered a disproportionate economic burden during the pandemic. Nearly 85% of small businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. More than half of Black and Hispanic small business owners report that the pandemic has been “catastrophic” or “very bad.”
Getting back to life—back to seeing our loved ones, back to school, and back to business—requires that we turn the tide against COVID-19. Vaccines, highly effective and safe, offer hope and protection that can help our country and our economy rebuild and recover.
We’re on our way, but significant challenges remain, including the emergence of a highly transmissible Delta variant that’s driving a new wave of infections across the country. Public health officials warn that we must encourage many more Americans to get vaccinated, including more than 85 million people in the United States who are currently eligible for vaccines but remain unvaccinated and at real risk. Starting in late-September, hundreds of millions of fully vaccinated Americans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will also need to be encouraged to receive booster shots to strengthen their immunity against Delta. And, everyone must continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
The good news is that research has shown businesses that encourage vaccinations and provide paid time off for vaccine appointments and recovery can significantly strengthen vaccine uptake among workers. Research also shows that working parents are more likely to vaccinate eligible children if they’re employer offers them paid time off to do so.
Small businesses are critical to getting more Americans vaccinated and mitigating the spread of Delta. More than 92 million people generate their livelihoods from small businesses, either as an owner or an employee. And, according to a 2020 Gallup poll, small business is the most trusted institution in the country. Together, we can turn the tide against COVID-19, rebuild our economy and create a stronger, healthier future for everyone in America.
This guide is designed to help you:
This guide includes:
If you have questions, need extra help or have best practices to share, we’d love to hear from you! email@example.com
As a small business owner, the most important thing you can do to help turn the tide against COVID-19 is communicate with your employees, workers and customers about the benefits and safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
It’s important to use trusted, fact-based messages from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health partners. Here are some messages you can consider:
As a small business owner, you have lots of ways to communicate with your employees and customers. Here are some strategies you might consider:
People who are unvaccinated may have additional questions or need extra support before making their decision about vaccines.
Here are some ways you can help:
It’s important to begin communicating about vaccines now. Here are three things you can do right away:
A fully vaccinated workforce creates the safest possible workplace environment for employees and customers. Hundreds of small and large companies have announced policies to require vaccinations for all or part of their workforce, adding to the millions of federal workers now required to show proof of vaccination or submit to regular COVID-19 testing. If a vaccination requirement is not an option for your small business, we recommend these steps:
We’ve created an interactive Decision Tool with the latest health, legal and safety considerations to help guide your planning and decision-making.
The American Rescue Plan includes a paid leave tax credit that offsets the cost for small- and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide full pay for any time their employees need to get a COVID-19 vaccination or recover from side effects. This federal tax credit also covers paid time off for workers to get their children or other family members vaccinated and stay home to care for them if they suffer vaccine side effects. The tax credit is currently available through September 30, 2021. The IRS provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions to help you take advantage of these credits.
Research has shown that there are additional ways small businesses can support or incentivize workers to get vaccinated. Small businesses may not be able to afford all, or even some, of these proposed actions. These are intended to provide examples of ways you might consider supporting employees and workers, to the extent you are able.
Delivering and administering hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccinations represents one of the greatest communications, logistical and public health challenges in our country’s history. There are many ways your small business might support local vaccination efforts and contribute to a faster recovery.
We’ve prepared tools, templates and communications resources to help you engage employees, workers, customers and other stakeholders, including:
Health Action Alliance’s digital resource hub contains our full suite of tools, resources, case studies, training opportunities and information about upcoming events. You can also SIGN UP to receive our latest resources, updates and event invitations!
Public health guidance on COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Health Action Alliance is committed to regularly updating our materials once we've engaged public health, business and communications experts about the implications of new guidance from the public health community and effective business strategies that align with public health goals