No! The vaccines are actually working extremely well doing what matters most - preventing hospitalizations and deaths among the vaccinated. That doesn’t mean they prevent all infections, but they do reduce them. If you are COVID+, the chance that your unvaccinated contacts get sick is about 38% on average - though that will be different for people who live in the same house compared to a quick encounter on the street , for example. But your unvaccinated contacts are only about 25% likely to get sick from their close contact with you. So, vaccines actually do reduce the overall chance that you get COVID, but their real value is in making COVID less severe, so that you don’t die or need to be hospitalized from it.
COVID is still here, and it’s still killing people. Even people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, even people without serious underlying medical conditions. You’ve made it this far without getting COVID - but most of that time had serious lockdowns, social distancing, and mask use that helped protect you. Now, things are opening up and those protective measures aren’t there to keep you safe. If you’re unvaccinated, you’re 5x more likely to catch COVID right now than you would be if you got the shot, and 29x more likely to need to be hospitalized if you do get COVID. Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of catching COVID at all, and is the best way to ensure you don’t die from COVID. Plus, it reduces the chances that you spread COVID to those around you that are at higher risk, like kids, cancer patients, and grandparents.
We wish supply in the US was robust enough that you could be seriously discerning about which rapid antigen tests you use, but the reality is that availability for rapid tests is unreliable, at best. If possible, you want a larger supply to do the same test weekly, so employees only need to be trained once on how to use them. Minimally, your test must be approved for emergency use by the FDA - finding the quantity needed is another story. If you do have a choice between a few options, look for ones that have the shortest processing time (some are as quick as 10 minutes, others as long as 30). You’ll also want to find one with good instructions that are easy to follow - some are so complicated that we’ve helped our clients type up clearer instructions to send out with the tests. Ultimately, your ability to get your hands on enough tests at a reasonable price is the deciding factor most people will rely on.
This is a legal and HR question, but our clients who have good reasonable accommodation requests and approval processes in place should have the easiest time ramping up for vaccine exemptions. Early word is that although employees may be charged for weekly testing if they are unvaccinated by choice, employers will likely be required to pay for weekly testing for those who have exemptions.
This is a common question asked by unvaccinated people who technically aren’t anti-vaccine. Recent studies show that immunity from vaccination was stronger and more consistent than immunity from COVID, which only lasts about six months. It’s possible that future guidance will allow for a grace period after illness, just like current guidance allows you to avoid quarantine if you’ve tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days. But the most recent studies clearly demonstrate that vaccination-based immunity is stronger, more consistent, and lasts longer than immunity from illness.
If we’d seen this on Friday, it would have been our best laugh then… but since we’re all still eating Halloween candy...