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Zero Hour Health + Zedic Newsletter - Tuesday, March 23rd

AstraZeneca’s rocky start, spring breakers and free donuts.

ZHH Updates

Please Join Us for Our Next Webinar!


Half of your employees are anxiously looking forward to or have already received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but data shows there are another 30% who are still undecided or in a wait-and-see pattern. Reaching them is your business' key to getting back to “normal” and achieving herd immunity. But how do you do that?

We’ll be joined by Cathie Koch, GVP of Corporate Affairs for Bloomin’ Brands, and Sarah Spah, MSN with the Vaccine Branch of the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Response Division (formerly with the Mayo Clinic) for this timely conversation.

When: Wed., April 7 at 2 p.m. ET

Register Here

Introducing Our Employee COVID Vaccine Chat Line

We know that 30% of employees are undecided or delaying getting their COVID shot as a result of vaccine hesitancy. Our new Vaccine Chat Line was developed to answer employees’ questions about the vaccine and provide them with good information from a reliable source, with the goal of helping them make informed decisions about their vaccination. Click here to book a demo!

Today's Recap:


Best Questions:

Are you seeing more employers offering vaccine incentives? For those who are, does there appear to be any impact on employee vaccinations?

Currently, we’re not seeing many of our clients changing their stance on offering vaccine incentives. However, it’s interesting to see that those who have chosen to incentivize appear to have a higher uptake in vaccinations compared to those businesses that aren’t. We’re hopeful that as additional states expand their vaccination eligibility, we’ll see an increase in fully vaccinated employees regardless of employer incentives.

Are women really having more side effects from the COVID vaccine than men?

Yes, but that’s actually true for most vaccines, including the annual flu shot. Plus, in most cases, the side effects are very mild. The reason stems from the difference in hormones, genes and, possibly, the dosage of the shots. Someday, we might find out that women need a lower dose of a vaccine to get a similar immune response to men, but, for now, we know that the vaccine is working really well, and really safely against COVID in both men and women. 


If a certain percentage of the workforce is vaccinated, can we relax other guidelines like mask usage at our company?

Until more is known about transmission, we don’t advise it. The current CDC guidelines only recommend relaxing other precautions (like mask usage and social distancing) when a fully vaccinated household is with one non-vaccinated household, and only if no one is considered high-risk. 

In a workplace setting, you obviously have a lot of people from a lot of different households coming into contact with one another. Eventually, if every single staff member is fully vaccinated, you might be able to ease up on the masks and social distancing, but, if we’re being realistic, that’s not happening anytime soon. We anticipate that a gradual decrease in COVID cases and an increase in vaccinations will lead to the nationwide easing of restrictions over time. For now, expect to stick to current safety protocol for a while.


There’s an uptick in sick calls, which we suspect is related to Spring Break. Are other clients experiencing this, too?

Among our clients, we’re definitely seeing an uptick in failed employee wellness checks, though they’re nowhere near the levels we saw in January. However, we’re also seeing an increase in lab-confirmed cases of COVID among employees, the return of norovirus and spring allergies (which can be difficult to tell from COVID); all potential reasons for the higher-than-normal call-outs.

If your managers believe an employee’s sick call is disingenuous, here are a few things we’d recommend. Your manager can directly ask the employee some follow-up questions, though be sure to consult your counsel or loop in HR first. If the employee was excluded through our system, we can also follow up. Just reply to the exclusion email with any additional info you don’t think they shared with us and our clinical team can step in.  


How do the current COVID-19 vaccines compare?


Best Read:

It’s not if there’s another pandemic, it’s when. Doctors and health experts share 14 Lessons for the Next Pandemic.


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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.