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A shot in the arm

10 December, 2020

Barack Obama. Elvis Presley. Your HR department. What do these three have in common? 

All three can affect whether you take vaccinations on offer. That’s according to Business Partners to CONVINCE, a new initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccination uptake among private sector employers and employees. 

An email from your boss containing medical advice might seem at best oddly personal and at worst dystopian. But these are not normal times. The pandemic has highlighted that our actions – or the lack thereof – can have massive consequences for the health of our families, our communities, and indeed our colleagues. So how can businesses encourage employees to get vaccinated without overstepping the mark?  

Business Partners to CONVINCE has a few ideas. Senior employees leading by example; staff vaccination timetables to take the individual friction out of booking a vaccine appointment; and simple incentives such as vouchers all help to minimise behavioural barriers to action. To address larger concerns, employers could organise speaker events with medical experts, or employee educational programmes about the benefits of vaccination uptake.  

The revelation that almost a third of people in the UK expressed no interest in a vaccine should cause serious concern for anyone hoping for a return to something like normal office life. Tactful and sensitive action from businesses could provide the injection of confidence that we all need.

By Sarah Howden

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