We are quickly approaching the one-year mark since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summer months saw businesses reopening and some semblance of the “new-normal” returning to everyday life.
However, now that we’re almost out of winter and into spring, there continues to be a risk of growth in new COVID-19 cases. The national positivity rate with hospitalizations and deaths has improved but remains much higher than the summertime average.
The ongoing pandemic continues to forecast an uncertain outlook on the future. The questions that are on everyone’s mind are:
- When will this end?
- When will life and work return to normal?
- Can anyone know for sure?
Remote Medical International (RMI) knows that vaccinations and continued testing will remain an integral part of the solution and we’re here to assist. With the right strategic planning and action steps, we have every confidence that 2021 will be much better than 2020.
COVID-19 Testing Updates
Since the spring of 2020, COVID-19 Testing has come a long way. Many tests are now widely available. Here’s what we know:
- Labs are turning results around faster, with greater precision, at a lower price.
- This trend will likely continue as testing remains a cornerstone of business continuity and employee health.
- COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and are being released around the world.
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates
While the precise timing of widespread vaccination is still uncertain, there has been a lot of progress since December 2020. The U.S. government has invested billions of dollars in developing large-scale manufacturing and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines.
In conjunction with advancements in science/vaccine production and public/private collaboration, it has created an unprecedented vaccine development and distribution timeline.
Multiple vaccine manufacturers have either received FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or have EUA currently pending:
- AstraZeneca (pending)
- Novavax (pending)
Since December, the first of these vaccines have been available for healthcare workers and vulnerable populations with ever-widening availability expected for the general public in Q2 or Q3 2021.
What can RMI do to help?
RMI is well-positioned to help you navigate a vaccination program.
- Consulting: RMI is closely monitoring the situation, and we are keeping track of updates on the vaccine distribution process from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We can keep you informed of the latest information and guide how to implement your company’s vaccination program.
- Contingency Staffing: RMI has the experience, systems, and mechanisms in place to deploy healthcare professionals quickly. We can assist with supplemental staffing needs that may be associated with a vaccination program.
- Logistics and Supply: RMI has extensive experience moving equipment and supply orders globally.
- COVID-19 Testing: There are many strategies and types of testing, and we offer a complete range of customizable solutions that will fit your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can my company vaccinate our employees?
Vaccination depends on the business type. While vaccines have been available since December, the initial focus has been on these priority populations:
- High-Risk Individuals at increased risk for severe illness (including those with underlying medical conditions and people over 65).
- Essential workers and critical infrastructure, which is generally defined as, but not limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, and law enforcement.
- Geographies with a high prevalence and spread of COVID-19.
Following this, the goal has been to have the vaccine available to every American as quickly as possible, and estimates for this goal are projected to be around mid/late summer to early fall.
So if your company is defined as “critical infrastructure” you will likely be able to vaccinate your workforce within the next few months. If not, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.
How much will the vaccine cost?
In the US it’s free, but you will have to wait your turn. The vaccine is being distributed at no cost to Americans and cannot be purchased or resold. Other global regions may have different parameters. Contact us to talk about setting up a COVID-19 vaccine program outside of the US.
How will my company procure vaccines when the time comes?
The US Federal Government has begun distributing the first tranche of COVID-19 vaccines to state governments and through the federal pharmacy partnership with private companies for administration to citizens.
In this initial phase, the states have determined the first-round recipients, generally following the federal prioritization guidance to include healthcare personnel, essential workers, adults 65+, and with underlying medical conditions.
FEMA continues to work with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to fill gaps that local health officials have identified in the administration of vaccines. It is anticipated that there will be distribution of vaccines for large companies’ occupational health settings but guidance or details have yet to be defined.
Other countries are approaching distribution differently. Contact us to learn more about vaccine distribution in your region.
Should I continue with testing, screening, and other preventative measures once the vaccine is available?
Yes. A robust COVID-19 management program will remain important in conjunction with a vaccine program. Many unknown variables still surround the distribution process, citizen take-up rate (vaccine hesitancy), and reinfection rates after receiving the vaccine. Additionally, all businesses should continue to follow country, state, and local regulations.
How effective will the vaccines be?
Initial data from late-stage clinical trials for Pfizer and Moderna shows a high efficacy rate at 94-95%.
Access Our COVID-19 Services to Protect Your Employees or Plan for a Future Vaccination Program
RMI can help your business protect its employees from COVID-19 and develop a vaccination program when the time comes.Protection For Your Workforce