Amazon, Sky, Molson Coors and Three UK have joined forces with the government to encourage their employees to get COVID-19 vaccines. Over the last six months, leading businesses have pledged their support in promoting positive vaccination messages and encouraging their staff to get the vaccine to ensure workplaces are safe and employees are protected from COVID-19.
Employers involved in the drive – including Asda, Slimming World, Metro Bank, Santander, Nationwide Building Society, Severn Trent and Merlin Entertainments – have committed to offering flexibility for staff receiving the vaccine during working hours and to signpost staff to NHS advice on vaccination. Companies have also committed to giving paid time off for employees, in addition to providing sick pay for the minority who experience minor side effects like fever or a headache.
In order to galvanise more leading businesses and employers, LinkedIn has also committed resources and free advertising to help target CEOs and Directors to support their staff and encourage employees to get both vaccine doses by signposting to the government’s Employers Toolkit.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi held a roundtable on Thursday this week with the businesses who have signed up to the employer coalition to thank them for supporting the largest vaccination programme in UK history and called on all UK businesses to join the employer coalition.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
We’re extremely grateful to all the brilliant businesses who have supported the vaccination programme so far and we’re calling on every employer in the UK to join us in the final push to get the UK vaccinated.
Our best chance of living with this virus safely is by working together, with everyone playing their part and getting both doses of their vaccine.
A total of 80,072,121 doses have been administered in the UK, with 45,697,875 people receiving a first dose (86.8%) and 34,374,246 people receiving both doses (65.3%).
This includes over half (54%) of young people aged 18 to 24 in England who have received a first dose – just three weeks after the programme was opened to this age group.
Every adult in England has been offered at least one dose and the Prime Minister announced this week that the vaccination programme is accelerating further, with all adults able to reduce their vaccine dose interval from twelve to eight weeks. This will mean every adult has the chance to have two doses by mid-September.
Amazon remains focused on boosting its voluntary COVID-19 testing capabilities for employees’ PCR tests at its new laboratory in Greater Manchester, which supports employee health and enables the online retailer to identify new variants and convey the data with Public Health England once the lab is approved for sequencing.
John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK Country Manager, said:
Amazon employees receive paid time off to get vaccinated so they can continue to keep themselves, their colleagues and their communities safe. Additionally, working closely with local health authorities, we have also hosted vaccination clinics at several of our sites across the country.
Since the onset of the global pandemic, Amazon’s number one priority has been the health and safety of employees, and our internal COVID-19 testing programme is just one of over 150 safety measures introduced to help keep our people safe. More recently we enhanced our testing facilities and launched variant analysis to help support health authorities in fighting the virus.
Analysis from Public Health England (PHE) and the University of Cambridge suggests that vaccines have so far prevented an estimated 8.5 million infections and 30,000 deaths in England alone.
Data from PHE shows COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. The analysis suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
Adam Firby, HR Director at Molson Coors Beverage Company, said:
Since the very start of this pandemic we’ve put the health and wellbeing of our employees first. We continue to strongly encourage our people to get both jabs when invited to do so and to support people in the right way.
We’ve been providing trusted information on vaccines through our internal communications, ensuring people have the flexibility to attend vaccine appointments and continuing to pay everyone 100% of their salary – whether they need a day or so to recover from a first jab or need to isolate because they’ve come into close contact with someone with Covid.
Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms and even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.
YouGov polling also shows the UK continues to top the list of nations where people are willing to have a COVID-19 vaccine or have already been vaccinated and ONS data published on 2 July shows that more than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine.
Vaccines are available free of charge and from thousands of vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.