Updated: July 24, 2020
With the start of the school year fast approaching and moving forward into the influenza season, today’s Recommendations for Industry addresses the importance of vaccines to protect your workforce. Read more here.
On Wednesday, we updated our quick breakdown of the U.S. risk this week. What does the available COVID-19 data tell us about reopening, risk, and travel? Read more here.
In Wednesday’s Q&A, we further explored the new CDC isolation guidelines, to answer: “I saw that the CDC released new guidance for criteria to release people diagnosed with COVID-19 from isolation. Do we need to change anything in our business to be sure we are following their guidance?” Read more here.
FDA has published its New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, “propelled” into more “concrete and essential action plans” through the agency’s experiences and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on FSMA’s preventive approach, application of science- and risk-based standards, and flexible framework, the blueprint outlines the approaches FDA will take over the next decade to its four core elements: Tech-Enabled Traceability, Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response, New Business Models and Retail Modernization, and Food Safety Culture. How will the four core elements impact food safety and you? Read more here.
Recommendations for Industry
Educating Your Workforce on Vaccines
Just as the school year (whatever form it may take in your area) is quickly approaching, so too is the time of annual influenza vaccinations. While there is always concern by some about any type of vaccine (e.g., “I don’t want someone putting a virus into me”), there are distinct benefits for both you and your workforce to encourage employees to be vaccinated. Not only do vaccines help reduce significant illness for your employees, they help reduce absenteeism for your business. This is especially important as a recent survey showed that 50 percent of Americans are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine once one is available.
In today’s world where we are already facing significantly increased illnesses due to COVID-19, TAG sees it as important to begin providing information and education to your employees — to get them to begin thinking about, and getting comfortable with vaccines.
The following is information from CDC on vaccines:
Why to be vaccinated. CDC notes that the diseases (and viruses) that vaccines prevent can be dangerous, or even deadly. While the chances of getting certain illnesses may not be significantly high, you don’t want to be lacking the protection the vaccines provide if it is needed.
How vaccines work. Vaccines use very small amounts of antigens to help the immune system recognize and learn to fight the disease or virus. Antigens are parts of germs that cause the body’s immune system to go to work.
Vaccine safety. Before a vaccine can be given to people, FDA oversees extensive lab testing to ensure it is safe and effective; next clinical studies begin testing in people; once complete and proven safe and effective, the vaccine is licensed. But even after a vaccine is licensed, FDA, CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies routinely monitor its use and investigate any potential safety concerns.
The seasonal flu vaccine. Seasonal influenza shots protect against the three or four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. While influenza vaccines can vary in efficacy season to season, each prevents millions of influenza illnesses, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths.
Some people who get the flu vaccine may still get sick. However, influenza vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
While we continue to await an approved vaccine for COVID-19, TAG recommends that businesses encourage flu and other vaccines that can help workers stay as healthy as possible – for their health as well as that of the business.
As of July 24, 2020 (13:09 ET), there are over 15,578,000 cases (>634,000 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
Keep up to date with COVID-19:
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