Dr. Lou’s View: Vaccination Protocols – How the Workplace Can Become Flexible

Dr. Lou discusses the Delta Variant

Welcome to Dr. Lou’s View. I’m Dr. Lou Marciani, the director and co-founder of the Innovation Institute for Fan Experience. In this newsletter feature, I share my thoughts with our subscribers on a key issue facing the sports and entertainment industry. Today, we’ll discuss the concept of vaccine flexibility pertaining to Covid-19.

The threat of the Covid-19 Delta Variant is rising. Vaccines are being pushed to combat the virus and protect everyone.

Whether to be vaccinated or not has become a part of daily life in the United States. The political winds favor vaccination over weekly testing.

While vaccines are encouraged, we must have a flexible mindset.

 What Are the New Vaccine Mandates? 

Even before the President spoke to the nation on September 9, 2021, about his six-point Covid-19 plan, many large private businesses and local governments have implemented vaccine mandates for their employees.

The President’s plan expands the mandate to almost any organization in the United States that receives federal funding, including Medicare and Medicaid.

The President made it clear that employees at offices that receive federal funding must be vaccinated unless they have a substantiated medical reason or religious objection.

The government plan allows for testing options in some cases, but the plan appears to strongly favor vaccination. 

Health care workers face strict guidelines favoring vaccination, with minimal options for weekly testing. These workers and others are discovering that vaccination can be a condition for employment.

Federal and state public health mandates include consequences for companies and employees that do not abide by these rules. 

Failure to be vaccinated can result in an employee’s termination from work.

Companies can be fined for failure to enforce vaccination and/or weekly testing for their employees. Those companies that require vaccination also face a dilemma of losing experienced employees who choose not to be vaccinated.  

According to the President, these new vaccine mandates affect over 100 million Americans. Thus, there is less room for employer and employee flexibility. 

What Can Be Done to Improve Flexibility with Vaccination?

The new federal vaccination requirements and guidance in the President’s Covid-19 plan are important, but appear to be rigidly inflexible. This creates challenges for the sports and entertainment industry in terms of its ability to recruit and retain workers.

The emerging post pandemic workforce has a growing number of Millennials and those from Generation Z. By 2030, they will represent more than 70% of the workforce.

Studies show these generations tend to favor flexibility in work roles, tasks, assignments, team membership, time off, and more. In other words, they like to have options.

As people return to work, they may be concerned about the perceived rigid inflexibility of vaccine mandates with no other options for demonstrating their health status.

Thus, flexibility in terms of health mandates for workplaces, and event spaces is very important to your employees. 

Action plans for ensuring health safe work environments are important, but they should have more than just a vaccine option.

The President’s plan leaves room for other options including Covid-19 testing.

Creating a plan for vaccinations, weekly or daily testing and providing information about health safety and mental health can help your employees and help you retain them. 

What Is the Bottom Line WITH FLEXIBILITY AND THE COVID VACCINE?

Covid-19 and the Delta Variant are on the rise, and it is important to take every precaution possible to protect yourself, your workforce, your fans, artists and talent, and your community. 

Your health safety strategy should employ multiple means to create a safe environment for all people who enter a venue. 

Employing precautionary measures such as health verification, vaccine promotions, testing programs for your staff and fans, and contact tracing provide your organization and staff flexibility. 

Used correctly, you can send a strong signal about your commitment to health, safety, and concern for the wellbeing of employees, talent, vendors, and fans. 

The President’s plan gives great emphasis to vaccination and its role in protecting the health of those who are eligible to receive it and those who cannot.

I can attest to how the Covid vaccine helped to minimize the symptoms I experienced when I was infected in late July. My symptoms were mild and my recovery was quick.

If you are eligible to be vaccinated, I encourage you to take a moment and think about how vaccination will protect you and also those you care about.  

If you are not able to get the vaccine for any reason, we also recommend regular testing to know your status and make informed decisions. 

I encourage you to talk to your doctor about vaccination and testing. You can also find vaccination sites near you in the U.S. here

Thanks for reading, 

Dr. Lou

Dr. Lou signs off to end this discussion on responding to the Delta variant

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