Next in workplace vaccinations: What we’ve learned doing over 1M jabs3 November , 2021
We’re proud to announce that we’re now offering COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace – and stand ready to help your employees and organisation stay safe and well.
(See contact details at the bottom of this article.)
Vaccinations are the lynchpin of COVID-normal life and work—especially now that booster shots have been approved.
That’s why Vitality Works took part in a consortium to support the Government’s national program in Phases 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination 2021 rollout—and delivered over 175,000 doses. We then applied our experience to a workplace vaccination pilot, in partnership with the Department of Health, to deliver a further 9,000 vaccinations to employees of two large financial institutions.
What we’ve seen is vaccinating in the workplace boosts health and productivity—and offers ‘halo effects’ that benefit employers and employees alike.
The 1M+ workplace flu vaccinations we’d delivered—to clients like Westpac and CBA, Services Australia and BP—gave our teams a flying start. But COVID is not the flu—and workplace COVID-19 vaccines demanded an evolution in our approach.
Here’s what we learned.
People love being vaccinated at work
For Michael Nadalin, Business Manager of Vaccination Services at Vitality Works, 9 years managing workplace vaccinations has meant offering what’s next in workplace health to hundreds of thousands of employees.
He’s witnessed a shift in attitudes.
“We’ve gone from 20k flu vaccinations annually to over 150k last year—it’s growing fast,” he says. “People see vaccinating as protecting their family and fellow workers—and with COVID-19 that protection is life or death”.
Avoiding huge queues and wait times at mass vaccination sites is just the start. The familiarity of the workplace reduces anxiety and vaccine hesitancy—and there’s a big incentive around family access.
During our 2021 pilot, workplace vaccine uptake surged when staff family members of 12+ years became eligible.
“People love the convenience, comfort and confidence of being able to access vaccinations together as a family” says Michael.
Organisations value vaccinating at work.
Efficiency is the hallmark of workplace vaccinations. Where vaccination at mass clinics may absorb up to a whole day of staff time—often paid—our workplace COVID vaccinations are seeing people come through in just 30 or 40 minutes—and that’s including mandatory observation periods.
But the ‘halo effects’ go far further than direct savings.
Employers who offer vaccinations are seen as leaders, and as offering better places to work. Vaccinations can become a point of focus for employee health that highlights other wellbeing programs”
Then there’s the valuable data that’s generated.
Patterns of vaccination within the workforce can be anonymously reported—and show rates across teams, demographics, locations, departments and cost-centres. Integrating with PowerBI puts the data at the fingertips of decision-makers with total, same-day accuracy.
With workforce freedoms increasingly tied to vaccination records, the Vitality Works cloud-based records system uses API integrations with the Australian Immunisation Register.
So nothing gets through the net.
Michael Nadalin says the Vitality Works workplace vaccination program is more than the sum of its parts.
“We offer end-to-end planning, management and reporting on every aspect of workplace COVID vaccination”, he says.
Employers value our communications rollout, bookings, room logistics, clinical supervision—and our management of vaccine compliance and reporting.
Experience with COVID complexity is essential.
Vitality Works was involved in early workplace vaccination trials in Australia—because it takes experience to handle complexity.
“COVID-19 vaccination is next level everything”, says Michael. “From staff ratios to protective equipment, from vaccine custody and handling to data compliance and reporting”.
It starts with clinical governance structures built around Chief Medical Officer oversight—of licenses, policies and procedures around storage and compliance. The CMO is always on call.
Managing clinical teams is itself complex. Our credentialing team maintains the training and licensing of our 330+ staff—many of them registered nurses—to eliminate risks.
COVID-19 vaccines themselves demand a level of care previously unseen in workplace vaccination—being stored at -80° and only transportable at 2° to 8° degrees. Unlike flu vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines are reconstituted onsite into 6 doses per vial.
It’s a complex dance between emerging scientific best practice and on-the-ground systems—with no room for inexperience.
Ready for what’s next.
With populations reaching high levels of full vaccination, booster shot regimes will likely preserve COVID-normal life and work. Experience in Israel, UK and other territories shows that workplace booster vaccinations will help minimise shutdowns.
In the coming flu season—our first living with widespread COVID—some experts predict ‘rolling up both sleeves’ for flu vaccinations and COVID boosters.
Vitality Works stands ready.
From planning booster programs to launching communications, from bookings and logistics to cold-chain custody and compliance—through to immunisation documentation and business insights—Vitality Works brings you what’s next in workplace vaccination.
“We’ve vaccinated in CBD boardrooms, dongas on mine sites, drive-through clinics, even mobile workforces for companies like DHL”, says Michael Nadalin.
As vaccination pioneers working in the dynamic COVID environment—we’ve learnt to be ready for anything.
Vitality Works is one of the first (of a limited number) of authorised organisations that can administer onsite corporate Covid-19 vaccination programs under the Department of Health’s National Vaccine Administration Partners Program (VAPP).