The COVID-19 Vaccine and Reopening Your Business
There has been much discussion of vaccines as the world works to slow the spread of COVID-19 and gets more employees back into the office. There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s bound to get a little confusing. We at Safeter have put together some information for you about the vaccines and how they will affect your reopening plan.
How does the vaccine work?
So far, there are several types of vaccines for COVID-19:
- mRNA Vaccines: These are vaccines that contain genetic material from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccines guide our cells on how to replicate a spike protein unique to the virus when administered. After the copy is created, the white blood cells will then destroy the original genetic material. Should the recipient be exposed to the virus in the future, a group of defensive white cells known as B-lymphocytes (responsible for the production of antibodies) and T-lymphocytes (memory cells) will identify and fight it.
- Subunit Vaccines: Unlike mRNA vaccines that introduce the entire virus into the body, subunit vaccines only contain the coronavirus’s harmless spike proteins. Once introduced to the body, the immune system will recognize the spike proteins as foreign proteins and trigger the production of the defensive white cells mentioned earlier. This way, if you are ever exposed to the virus, these cells will successfully recognize and fight it.
- Vector Vaccines: This type of vaccine contains a chemically weakened version of the coronavirus. This version is transported to our cells via a viral vector. Since the vector contains COVID-19 genetic materials, it will instruct our cells to replicate COVID-19’s spike protein. This will then trigger defensive white cells to remember how to fight the virus in the future.
Who is creating the vaccine?
The two companies showing the most progress with the COVID-19 vaccine are Pfizer and Moderna Therapeutics. Several additional companies are also working on options.
When will the vaccine be available?
It’s difficult to say exactly when a vaccine will be available. Once it is, certain groups will be given priority. Medical workers will have access first, followed by other essential workers. Individuals with conditions that are likely to be complicated by COVID-19 will be next, along with senior citizens. The exact timeline is unclear, but the CDC is working as quickly as possible with the companies making the vaccine.
How will vaccines help me reopen my business safely?
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown a very high success rate. This is good news for companies looking to get back to work safely. However, since the vaccine is new, businesses will still need to take precautions. These include:
- Health checks
- Employee testing
- Social distancing
- Managing office visitors
- Encouraging employees to take personal precautions such as masking and hand-washing.
Overall, the vaccine takes some pressure off, but it’s important to continue taking safety precautions. Safeter offers a set of tools that can help you do all of these things as you reopen. With our online health assessments, staggered office scheduling, visitor management, employee testing, and educational tools, you can provide safe resources for yourself and your employees as you wait for the vaccine to become available.