March 1, 2021

How Can Businesses Help End The Coronavirus Pandemic?

As the world enters the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, the first priority for many businesses is getting their employees vaccinated.

As Connecting the Dots has reported previously, however, each state is making the determination for which industries are deemed “essential” for vaccination purposes. Businesses must petition their local and state leaders to be deemed essential. To help with those efforts, the National Association of Wholesalers has created a template letter to governors and local health department to request that employees be deemed essential for vaccine eligibility. The template is addressed to a governor, but could readily be altered to communicate with a local or state health department. Click here to download.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) also has some ideas for how businesses can help end the pandemic.

Last week, USCC launched the Rally for Recovery Commitment – available at www.committorecovery.com – that will support and empower businesses to take basic but important steps to accelerate vaccinations, protect workers, and stop the spread of coronavirus. The commitment includes examples of steps employers can take from continuing to encourage masking, providing vaccination information to employees, paid time-off for employees to get vaccinated, and communicating the importance of vaccines in the local community.

As a reminder, the USCC also operates a COVID-19 Vaccines Digital Resource Center that helps business leaders navigate vaccine questions, including state-specific guidance and information, employer vaccine communication and strategy guidance, and reliable safety and efficacy information. Click here to view that resource. Click here to sign up and join the Rally for Recovery, which allows businesses to receive the latest guidance and resources to help employers inform and protect their employees, communicate to their customers, and support their communities.

In related news: Pfizer and Moderna announced last week that they have solved manufacturing challenges that had previously made it difficult to ramp up production and delivery of their respective COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, the companies pledged to massively increase the supply over the next several weeks. Specifically, they expect to deliver 140 million more doses over the next five weeks. The news also comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a third vaccine, this one from Johnson & Johnson. That company’s one-dose shot should hit the market early this week, with The Biden administration planning to ship three million to four million doses to the U.S. states.

As of the middle of last week, approximately 44 million U.S. residents had received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and nearly half of those individuals had received both doses.