Number of the day: Employers’ biggest COVID-19 vaccine concern

40: Percentage of small and mid-size business owners who say they are worried the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines will impede business operations

The slow rollout of the vaccine and how it will impede business operations are the biggest concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for small and mid-size business owners, according to a Paychex survey of 300 principals of U.S. companies with two to 500 employees.

What it means for HR leaders

Although COVID-19 vaccines have arrived, business owners report having a variety of concerns about inoculation, including the slow rollout of the vaccines. Among their other concerns are that the drugs won’t work as well as expected and how to let customers know their employees are vaccinated.

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Also notable on the list of top vaccine concerns is figuring out the guidelines and the role of their company in getting employees vaccinated (cited by 19%) and refusal by some employees to receive the vaccination (18%).

Employers are seen as vital in helping boost vaccination rates, especially as many employees are showing reluctance to get the shot.

Related: Mayer: Don’t have a COVID-19 vaccine strategy? It’s time to make one

Although experts say employers’ role is important, vaccination is a big task for organizations, especially smaller businesses. Many employers are now deciding exactly what their role should be in vaccine strategy and if they should encourage or mandate vaccination for their employees.

“From the financial toll COVID-19 has taken on businesses to the confusion around returning employees to the office and what to consider when building a vaccination policy, business owners are facing a level of complexity never seen before,” says Mike Trabold, Paychex director of compliance risk.

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.