COVID-19 Vaccine: Employer's Resource Toolkit

THIS TOOLKIT IS DESIGNED FOR ALL EMPLOYERS

Supporting Bermuda’s Vaccination Programme offers many benefits to you and your employees.

Some of these benefits include:

✓ Keeping your workforce healthy by helping to prevent employees and their loved ones from getting COVID-19;

✓ Reduced absences due to COVID-19 related illness;

✓ Increased safety for your clients/customers;

✓ Improved productivity; and

✓ Improved morale.

Additionally, your employees themselves will benefit from:

✓ Reduced stress;

✓ Reduced absences and doctor visits due to illness;

✓ Reduced potential for having to quarantine; and

✓ Reduced time-off.

We strongly encourage all employers to support their employees in finding fact-based and trustworthy COVID-19 vaccination information.

IMPLEMENTING A WORKPLACE VACCINATION SUPPORT PROGRAMME

Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Information to all employees and staff

Consider making sure your employees have access to trusted and factual vaccine information. The information contained in this flyer will assist with this.

ENCOURAGE EMPLOYEES TO GET VACCINATED

Consider steps to encourage vaccination, such as:

✓ Be flexible in your human resources policies. Establish policies that allow employees to take paid leave to go and get their COVID-19 vaccination;

✓ Support transportation to vaccination clinics if necessary;

✓ Allow employees paid leave to take their immediate family to be vaccinated;

✓ Use promotional posters/flyers to provide factual information on the COVID-19 vaccine;

✓ Display posters about COVID-19 vaccination in break rooms, cafeterias, and other high traffic areas;

✓ Post articles in company communications (e.g., newsletters, intranet, emails, portals) about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and where to get the vaccine; and

✓ Organise a COVID-19 vaccine presentation for your employees. If you are able, organise a virtual presentation. If not, organise an in-person presentation following COVID-19 safety precautions. The Ministry of Health may be able to assist in providing a presentation. Please contact Health Promotion at healthpromotion@gov.bm or the Vaccine Programme at vaccine@gov.bm

Accurate COVID-19 vaccine information is critical. Share these links with your staff so they have access to credible and accurate information:

https://www.gov.bm/vaccines-faqs

https://www.gov.bm/pfizer-biontech-vaccine

https://www.gov.bm/vaccination-process

https://www.gov.bm/covid-19-vaccine-fact-vs-fiction

MANDATORY VACCINATIONS

Please be aware that employers cannot mandate employees to be vaccinated. It is an individual choice and a choice that must be respected by all employers and employees.

BACKGROUND ON THE COVID-19 VACCINE

The Ministry of Health only uses vaccines that have met international standards for safety and protection. In Bermuda, we are currently administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Other vaccines may become available, but any COVID-19 vaccine used in Bermuda will have met international standards before it can be used. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has also been approved in the USA by the FDA, in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, in Canada by Health Canada, in Europe by the European Medicines Agency, in Singapore by the Health Sciences Authority and by the World Health Organisation.

WHO SHOULD HAVE THE COVID-19 VACCINES?

The Ministry of Health continues to prioritise the elderly, clinically extremely vulnerable and vulnerable as these groups are most at risk from COVID-19. Then healthcare workers, essential workers, and residents over age 50. The vaccine is currently not approved for use for children under the age of 16. Please, if you are unsure about getting the vaccine speak with your doctor for advice and visit www.gov.bm/vaccines

BACK TO NORMAL

If enough people in Bermuda are vaccinated (herd immunity), the virus is less able to spread as the number of vulnerable people is low, creating dead end infections. This means that you are able to protect yourself, your family and your community, especially those at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Those individuals in higher risk groups include the elderly and those who are extremely clinically vulnerable. If you have questions about your vulnerability, please talk with your doctor.

HOW MUCH DOES THE VACCINATION COST?

There is no cost to any resident that wishes to be vaccinated.

SIDE EFFECTS

You may experience some mild side effects, including a sore arm, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills and fever. This is normal and is not an indication of COVID-19 as there is no COVID-19 virus in the vaccine. These minor side effects, which are not experienced by everyone, is your body’s immune system responding. If, however, the side effects are more than a mild reaction, you should contact your doctor immediately. Side effects are less common in patients 55 and older, and they occur more frequently after the second dose. If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, talk to your doctor before you get the vaccine.

AM I AT INCREASED RISK FROM COVID-19 INFECTION?

The Coronavirus can affect anyone. If you are an older adult and have a long-term health condition, COVID-19 can be very serious and in some cases fatal. Overall fewer than 1 in 100 people who are infected will die from COVID-19, but in those over 75 years of age this rises to 1 in 10.

I HAVE HAD MY FLU VACCINE, DO I NEED THE COVID-19 VACCINE AS WELL?

The flu vaccine does not protect you from COVID-19. As you are eligible for both vaccines you should have them both, but normally separated by four weeks.

HOW CAN I REGISTER MY INTEREST TO BE VACCINATED IF I DON’T HAVE A COMPUTER?

Please ask a family member or friend to sign you up by going to https://forms.gov.bm/covidvaccine. Or you can call 444-2498 and select Option 2.

HOW CAN I GET TO MY VACCINATION APPOINTMENT IF I DON’T HAVE TRANSPORTATION?

The Ministry of Health has partnered with Age Concern Bermuda to provide assistance to their members. Starting Monday, March 1, adults aged 50+ can call Age Concern’s Vaccination Hotline at 238-7525 to schedule transportation to their vaccination appointment. To receive this service, you must first register for your vaccination appointment. Once your appointment has been set, you will have access to Age Concern’s transportation service, provided by Project Action. This will include travel to and drop off after your vaccination appointment.

PHASES AND VACCINE ELIGIBILITY

The Ministry of Health’s Vaccination Allocation Strategy is moving along swiftly. Although we are currently in Phase 2, the goal is to move to Phase 3 by the end of March. Therefore, if you are in Phase 1A, 1B or Phase 2, and you have not yet registered, PLEASE DO SO NOW! Our prioritisation process will ensure that you are booked for an appointment in accordance with your eligibility.

For a detailed snapshot of the Ministry’s Vaccination Allocation Strategy, please cick here.  

Once you fall within your respective phase, we encourage you to register your interest here.

For more information on vaccines and how the COVID-19 vaccination will be administered, as well as frequently asked questions about the vaccine, visit the vaccine homepage here.

For more information about COVID-19 generally click here

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