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Zero Hour Health + Zedic Newsletter - Friday, March 12th

Tracking employee vaccinations, vaccine side effects and the continued slow pace of foodborne illness outbreaks.

ZHH Updates

Introducing Vaccine Tracking

As COVID vaccinations ramp up, the need for tracking who receives the vaccine is now essential. Employees exposed to someone with COVID can continue to work but ONLY if they’ve been fully vaccinated. Which is why we’ve developed a tool that allows you to track the status of your workplace vaccinations in an easy-to-use mobile app.

White Paper: COVID at 1 Year

As we marked one year of COVID in the U.S., it was time to look back and assess what the biggest challenges of the last year were for our clients, and how we can apply those lessons to the future. We asked you about the invaluable things you learned and what you know now that you wish you’d known then. You can view the white paper here.

March Webinar Replay

In case you missed it, last week we sat down with Patrick Sterling, Senior Director of People and Risk at Texas Roadhouse, to talk about the biggest challenges and learnings of the past year of COVID. Check out the summary video.

Today's Recap:

Best Questions:

An employee who received Dose 2 of their COVID vaccine 30 days ago tested positive today. Have you heard of that before and what should we do? 

Yes, we’re starting to hear of “breakthrough” cases like this more often. It’s normal and to be expected for any vaccine. The good news is that, while a very small number of people might get COVID after being fully vaccinated, they’re much less likely to get severely ill or die from the disease than if they were unvaccinated. 

We always recommend using a symptoms-based approach to work exclusions; anyone with symptoms, whether vaccinated or not, should be kept out of work. And because reinfection and the very rare breakthrough case are possible, if not common, we generally recommend following our COVID exclusion chart for symptoms regardless of whether someone is in the 90-day window following confirmed COVID infection or whether they are fully vaccinated. If they are sick, they should not be at work. End of story.

If you can still get sick after getting the vaccine, why bother getting one?

It’s true that you might still get sick even if you get the vaccine, but it won’t be nearly as bad and you won’t be sick nearly as long. Plus, you almost certainly won’t die or even need to be hospitalized if you do get COVID after being vaccinated. Most people who are vaccinated are protected from getting any symptoms at all. 

Basically, if 100 unvaccinated people get COVID, about 2 of them will die and one might end up in the hospital. If 100 vaccinated people get COVID, none of them will die or even be hospitalized. Getting your vaccine is a quick and easy way to slash your chances of dying or getting very sick from COVID.

We’ve had a number of employees receiving the J&J vaccine who are calling out sick the following day due to side effects. Is that normal?

Yes. Anecdotally we’ve heard the same thing, both for the J&J single-dose shot and for Moderna and Pfizer’s second dose. You should expect to feel side effects, usually starting within a day or two of the shot, and usually lasting a day or two. There are situations where that may last longer, including some anecdotal evidence that those who have had COVID in the past may experience more severe side effects, especially with their first dose. But remember: side effects from a vaccine are a good sign - they mean the body is working to create those antibodies that protect you against the coronavirus!

Have people died from the COVID vaccine?

No. There is a special reporting system for any vaccine-related issues, and it has not detected any patterns in cause of death that would indicate a safety problem with any COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the US. This means that while some people may have died after they were vaccinated, their death was NOT linked to or caused by the vaccine. We mentioned the newest anecdotal case in the recap, where a woman’s death is incorrectly being linked to her vaccination a few days before. In that case, and all others in the US, there is no evidence that the vaccination caused the death.

Best Read:

Why are people keeping their COVID vaccination a secret?

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Disclaimer: This post is meant for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute, and is not intended as, any form of medical, legal or regulatory advice or a recommendation or suggestion regarding the same.  No recipient of this information should act or refrain from acting on the basis of this information without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.