Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination plan is the country’s largest, most complex immunization plan ever developed, with the goal of enabling as many Canadians as possible to be immunized as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that high risk populations are prioritized.
While federal and provincial governments in Canada are leading the charge in educating the public around the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, their efforts will only be successful if employers join in and increase transparency about vaccine data, efficacy, and the allocation process, while also inspiring trust and confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
Here is a playbook that can help senior care employers design and implement their own internal campaigns to drive a more seamless vaccination process and allow their staff and residents to make educated and informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Take time to understand any cultural beliefs that may dissuade employees or residents from getting vaccinated. Bring in (virtually) diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals to offer cultural training or help facility leaders connect with employees and residents. Also consider conducting surveys to understand employee views on the vaccination process and rollout. Information generated through surveys and polls can help inform a more effective vaccine education and engagement plan.
Fostering trust through personalized communication will be crucial to the success of the immunization campaign. Try and identify employees within the organization who can help to deliver effective messages to staff, patients and other relevant stakeholders such as family members. Leaders should set an example by publicly supporting vaccinations and, if eligible, get vaccinated themselves.
Create an engaging educational program to help your staff and residents understand the goals, safety, and benefits of vaccination. Be sure to provide relevant, up to date information and also ensure transparency when it comes to communicating around issues such as challenges in gaining access to the vaccine.
Leveraging analytics platforms to distill data into meaningful information can help leaders in senior care analyze situations and make important decisions, thereby allowing for rapid response to residents and concerned family members.
Ensure that your workforce has the support it needs to take the time to get vaccinated. Create policies that protect wages and allow for time off for employees to receive the vaccine, particularly for those staff members who are balancing childcare, caring for aging parents and work. Consider providing temporary childcare options. Senior care leaders can also consider incentivizing the vaccine process with employee recognition and reward programs.
Until extensive vaccination is achieved, communities will continue to implement public health measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Employers should consider doing all they can to step up and be part of the solution to ending the pandemic. By encouraging employees and residents to get vaccinated, leaders in senior care are helping not just their own facilities, but society overall.
For more information about Canada’s COVID-19 immunization program visit:
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