Employers: Insist on Contagious Disease Vaccinations for Employees and Families

Feb 03, 2015

Communicable deadly and debilitating diseases like the measles cause immense havoc, not only to individuals and their families, but to the economy and society as a whole. The resulting costs: in suffering but also in healthcare expenses, and in lost productivity from stricken employees and their family members are immense.

Vaccinations are a long-proven tool to prevent, limit the propagation, and the impact of contagious diseases. Vaccination, in these instances, is a public health matter. An unvaccinated individual is a danger to everyone. Individuals should only be exempt from vaccination if there is a clinically proven risk of serious harm to them from the vaccines. These persons should be identified, and if there are outbreaks strict precautions should be taken to prevent them from contracting and spreading the illnesses.

Forbes magazine ran a great piece on suing parents who didn’t get their kids vaccinated. But how about employers requiring employees and families to be (or get) vaccinated for communicable diseases as a condition of receiving health insurance? No vaccinations. No coverage.

Or better yet, mandate vaccinations for employees and also their households as conditions of employment? Employees would still have “choices”: elect not to receive employer-provided insurance, or get a job with a less stringent company, or become self-employed.

When I was growing up vaccinations weren’t a big issue. You weren’t allowed to register to school unless you had them, and you were taught why. I remember the lineups for the nurse in my school. I also have smallpox inoculation scars, though they are faint compared to those on my grandmother’s arm.

We need to return to a common sense approach to vaccination, one that stresses the greater good, before the next deadly disease outbreak. Employers should do their part to ensure vaccination to protect their workforces, their customers, and themselves. Only when the population is healthy is it truly productive, and provides a profitable market.

Tags: HR, public health

Brendan Read


Brendan Read is Senior Industry Analyst with over 25 years’ experience covering business, communications, staffing, and technology. He has worked in, prepared reports, and blogged on a wide range of topics including customer contact, CX, CRM, IoT, social media, supply chain, and BC/DR. He also has backgrounds in construction, manufacturing, materials, resource extraction, site selection, and transportation. He examines the broad economic, environmental, innovation, political, and social mega trends, and their impacts on businesses, markets, and society.

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