Demand for workplace vaccinations spiked, then froze, as federal rule hangs in legal limbo

Nov 25, 2021

A worker at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic fills out paperwork.
Credit Justin Hicks / IPB News

The Indiana Immunization Coalition said it saw an increase in employers asking for COVID-19 vaccination clinics at job sites earlier this month. It was a response to a workplace vaccination push from the federal government, now put on pause by courts.

Lisa Robertson, executive director of the immunization coalition, said the group started in 2003 to simply educate and promote routine vaccinations for school children. But when COVID-19 came, they got involved in administering vaccine clinics at schools and job sites around the state.

READ MORE: How is Indiana distributing COVID-19 vaccines? Here's what you need to know

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Robertson said when the federal government announced a rule telling companies to get employees vaccinated or tested earlier this month, that caused a small spike in calls.

“That kind of smaller 100 to 250 employees, and a lot of construction and factories...have been where we get most of our employer requests,” she said. 

Robertson said when they visit worksites, it doesn't mean everyone necessarily gets vaccinated. But she's noticed it makes a big difference at employers who encourage their workers and provide information versus employers who are simply trying to avoid potential legal trouble.

"Employers are a trusted source of information," Robertson said. "So if their employer is saying, this is important, we really believe in it, it goes a really long way. So those companies that really put in the effort to educate and and explain why this is so important, the outcome of those clinics is phenomenal."

Although the surge in demand paused due to a court injunction, she anticipates they’ll have to be ready for a wave of new calls for workplace vaccines if it’s lifted.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.