It’s Time To Prepare For Vaccination
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in our communities. At-risk populations are receiving their first and second shots. Although it has not been easy to conduct large-scale vaccination efforts, we are making real progress. National, state, and local officials are hard at work daily to get everyone who is eligible scheduled for their shots and safely vaccinated. Soon, the vaccine will become available for everyone who wants it. Will we be ready?
Never in our lifetimes have we witnessed such a global health risk. The last pandemic to have this kind of impact was in 1918. It had a devastating effect on millions of people. It coincided with World War I. In the early part of the 20th Century and well into the 1940s, the world was consumed by war, illness, and its impacts. It is hard for us to imagine how difficult this must have been. We have our moment of reckoning now. How will we respond to what lies ahead? Will we do what is needed to overcome this pandemic and recover from its destructive effects? To do so, we must use the tools we have before us.
Vaccination of our community is the only proven path to regaining our lives and rebuilding our economy. This is our moment to seize the future. We must not underestimate how difficult this will be and how much work we must all do. If we miss this moment, our community will not eliminate COVID-19 from our lives, and we cannot fully rebuild our economy. This effort will take each one of us to do our part. We will learn just how resilient and committed to our future we genuinely are over the next few months.
As individuals and leaders, we will need to set the tone for getting our community vaccinated. Now is the time to talk about getting vaccinated and preparing our places of work for this task. When we openly discuss the importance of getting the vaccine, we set the stage for vital dialogue. In some companies, they are starting to survey employees to understand how individuals feel about the vaccine. This is helping to guide education campaigns concerning just how safe and necessary the vaccines are. The vaccines are also very effective. They are reportedly effective at eliminating severe illness and death that can result from contracting COVID-19. This is a remarkable achievement and offers great hope for us to return to a more normal life as we all get vaccinated. Company-wide efforts to educate and discuss the vaccine will reduce hesitancy and misunderstandings that have crept into the dialogue.
Countries like Israel have seen a dramatic drop in the spread and lethality of COVID-19 as they have rapidly vaccinated their population. They are quickly reaching the level of vaccinations that could render their country nearly free from COVID. Although this is more difficult in our communities, we can see just how much it saves lives, reduces fear, and allows us to return to normal activities and economic recovery. By early spring and summer, we could see dramatic drops in our COVID risks if we prepare and then rapidly vaccinate our community. I, for one, want to proceed as quickly as practical to this outcome.
Please join me in preparing our workplaces and community for fighting COVID through effective vaccination efforts. MACNY is coordinating an effort through our Keeping People Safe and Factories Running program to help companies prepare for vaccinations. Contact Cindy Oehmigen at [email protected] for more information and to get involved. We will need everyone’s support to improve our community’s health and well-being in our battle against COVID-19.