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Zero Hour Health + Zedic Newsletter - Friday, March 19th

Reinfections, workplace vaccinations and more vaccines on the horizon.
To our friends at Texas Roadhouse, we're profoundly saddened. Kent was an icon, one of a kind, brilliant, funny and his generosity legendary.  We will always treasure his partnership.

Today’s Recap

Best Questions

There’s new CDC guidance allowing school children to be only three feet apart. Does this apply to our social distancing protocols at work, too?

No. There is a possibility that the current six-foot distancing will be reduced in workplaces later, but, for now, this latest guidance applies only to schools. Several good studies have showed that when students are masked, are surrounded by good ventilation and other precautions are properly followed, there is only a slight increase in transmission among children who are just three ft apart versus six feet. Despite those studies’ findings, officials felt the benefits of getting kids back to school outweighed this slightly increased risk.

My employees think they can infect someone else with COVID by being vaccinated. Is that true?

No. Getting a COVID vaccine doesn’t mean you’ll be infected with COVID, nor will you test positive for the virus as a result. Due to the way the vaccines were created, those who get the vaccine won’t actually have any real virus in their bodies - just the instructions that teach their body how to fight it. 

What should I tell my employees about why we are tracking  vaccinations?

Well, if your company is offering vaccine incentives, there’s an easy answer for that: you need to know who to pay for their time getting vaccinated. If not, you can explain that CDC’s new guidelines allow fully vaccinated individuals to avoid quarantine if they’re exposed to someone who’s COVID+. This means that if we’re able to track employees’ vaccination status, we’re better able to determine who can and can’t work, and reduce the number of unnecessary exclusions. It also allows us to gauge how well we’re doing in terms of getting most of the team vaccinated! 

Are more vaccines coming?

Yes! Two, in fact. 

First, there’s Novavax. It’s a vaccine from a Maryland company that appears to be effective and safe in trials. They will apply for emergency use authorization by April or May and could be distributed as early as June. 

Then, there’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, the vaccine you’ve been hearing so much about in the news lately. Though it’s been approved in the UK and much of Europe, many countries recently suspended its use after reports of blood clots in some vaccine recipients surfaced. Yesterday, the European drug regulator determined that the shot was not causing the clots, and Germany, France, Italy and Spain are planning to resume using the vaccine. AstraZeneca is said to have nearly 30 million doses earmarked for use in the US, which could help speed up vaccination rollout greatly. On Friday, the Biden administration announced it would be shipping some of those to Canada and Mexico, where it’s already approved. 

Are workplace vaccinations going to be available any time soon?

Maybe. Right now, state health departments are really only coordinating with massive, high-risk employers like processing plants, where thousands of people work in close proximity. But we’re working with our staffing and vaccine partners to discuss coordinating on-site workplace COVID vaccination programs for our clients, and we’ll be sure to share more when we can. We do expect to see more and more of this, and hope that the easy access of workplace vaccinations will sway some on-the-fence employees to get their shot. 

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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.