The COVID-19 vaccine is arriving on the scene none too soon, as the world is suffering from pandemic fatigue.
Our collective guard against the pandemic has fallen to the wayside
Watch any football game and observe head coach behavior when the cameras are trained on the sidelines. Those masks below their noses are quickly raised up, likely because a voice in their headphones has issued a warning that a breach of protocol is being broadcast live for all to see.
In the United States, some of us observed health warnings and kept our Thanksgiving gatherings small. At my house, four of us shared enough food for a family of twenty-five, and I spent three days in a turkey, starch and gravy induced coma. Others ignored the advice of the CDC and other experts and hosted houses full of loved ones over the long holiday weekend.
The surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths underscores the fact we have let our collective guard down, and the coming fallout from Thanksgiving get-togethers is likely to add fuel to the already fast-spreading fire.
Growing strain on the healthcare sector and increased awareness of employee health
The impact of the upswing is clearly evident in the healthcare sector. Our organization works with a number of occupational and employee health professionals at hospitals and health systems, and they wear the strain of taking care of those who take care of patients on their sleeves. Our healthcare clients are now eager to roll those sleeves up and get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Since the pandemic began in early 2020, we have collaborated with our large employer clients to provide the digital infrastructure they need to monitor symptoms, track exposures, manage testing and contact tracing, support both remote operations and wide scale return to work, cope with surges and generate reports. We have operated on an agile footing as the ground has constantly shifted, and development and deployment cycles have been collapsed from months to weeks to days to hours. It is no wonder that fatigue has set in, as everyone is sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Modified mass immunization functionality
The most recent sprint revolves around preparing for the administration of COVID vaccines. Our health system clients are leading the charge, working closely with our team to modify existing Enterprise Health mass immunization functionality normally focused on flu shots to support this effort. Preparation has been an interesting challenge, as the puzzle is still missing several pieces. We know vaccines are coming, in various forms from several manufacturers, and every day new details emerge regarding the specifics required to put the full picture together.
As frontline healthcare workers are rightly at the top of the vaccine priority list, we are witnessing a mix of urgency and optimism as this effort ramps up. While we have to remain nimble given the still rapidly changing terrain and things will likely get more difficult before they get better, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is starting to reveal itself.
A solution in sight — occupational health software with enhanced COVID-19 immunization management functionality
As the eponymous character in the award-winning musical Hamilton sings, “I am not throwin’ away my shot.” With the vaccine, we have a shot at slowly but surely returning to normal, or perhaps a new normal, over the course of 2021. While it may be a bit early to find the silver lining in the coronavirus cloud, our organization is encouraged by the resilience of the occupational health clients we work with in the healthcare, corporate and government sectors. These are the people responsible for making sure organizations have a healthy, present, productive workforce — a challenge in normal times, and a herculean task during a pandemic. I am personally buoyed by the tireless work ethic of the Enterprise Health team, and their ability to empathize with our clients and move heaven and earth in record time.
To learn more about how our organization and our client community is gearing up to manage massive COVID-19 vaccinations, watch a replay of our COVID-19 immunization management webinar.