Vaccinations Are The Most Valuable Gift

By Michael Carney

The United States has more than enough doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. What we need are more people willing to get the shot.

Employers can play an important role in our nation’s efforts to vaccinate every eligible person by making it easy for employees and their dependents to make the right decision to get the shot. These efforts are essential now that people ages five and older can receive an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine and people 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s business community has provided trustworthy guidance to safeguard their workforce’s health and propel economic recovery. Here at the U.S. Chamber Foundation, we’ve collaborated with employers of all sizes to ensure people have the information they need to protect lives and livelihoods.

The U.S. Chamber’s Rally for Recovery Initiative secured commitments from hundreds of companies, employing nearly 5.2 million people, to promote public health measures and make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated.

There are too many examples of corporate leadership supporting employees and communities amid the pandemic, but you can find many of them on the Chamber Foundation’s disaster aid tracker. Countless businesses are offering cash incentives, paid time off, free childcare, transportation to clinics, and other rewards to remove barriers to vaccination.

As we enter endemic phases of America’s public health response, the Chamber and Foundation stand ready to support businesses across the country, including the Commonwealth. We will continue hosting timely events on topics such as the Omicron variant with experts like the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Dr. Katelyn Jetelina.

The Chamber will closely monitor the Emergency Temporary Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and respond to FAQs for businesses with over 100 employees.

The Foundation will expand global pandemic response efforts with our corporate partners to vaccinate other regions of the globe and thwart the emergence of future variants like the Omicron variant. The Global COVID Corps will dedicate private sector personnel and expertise to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations in Africa. The Global Task Force on Pandemic Response will continue emergency relief efforts to Southeast Asia and other identified hotspots.

The global pandemic is not over, but we can all reduce the risk of future outbreaks by ensuring every person who can receive the vaccine and booster chooses to do so. It is with a sense of shared purpose that we will stop the spread of this deadly virus.

Michael Carney is senior vice president of emerging issues with the U.S. Chamber Foundation.