COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy: Helping you build a resilient workforce


Dr Mark Parrish, Regional Medical Director – Northern Europe


As vaccines for COVID-19 are approved, distributed and administered around the world, it is critical for organisations to understand what the implications are for their global workforce. International SOS can assist your company by ensuring they have timely/accurate information and expert medical advice. We can help you navigate areas such as:

  1. Protecting and educating your workforce
  2. Addressing the global infodemic
  3. Managing testing and quarantine protocols
  4. Impact on international and domestic travel

COVID-19 Vaccine: Protecting and Educating your workforce

COVID-19 vaccine access and distribution is complex. It is likely that a degree of skepticism of the efficacy and safety profile of any vaccine will be faced among employees. Organisations will need a strategy to counter this. Communicating vaccine safety to employees is therefore a crucial in your COVID-19 response.


You can help to communicate the benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine by providing:


  • Information on the goals, safety and benefits of a vaccination
  • Providing the latest information and data on current vaccine developments and challenges
  • Localising your messaging and vaccination response to each location in which you operate
  • Delivering clear, nuanced and informative communication materials to your workforce


Find helpful communication resources to share with your workforce here.




Addressing the global infodemic

The growing infodemic has increased the demand for trusted information. Advice from the most trusted of national and international authorities about transmission and prevention of COVID-19 has been conflicting and changing. Employers have a role to play in providing trusted and accurate information, to help build their confidence and productivity. As an organisation, it is your responsibility to:


  • Provide accurate and timely information to employees
  • Communicate current developments regularly and clearly
  • Monitor developing situations to ensure you remain informed of the latest developments
  • Help to combat misinformation and cybercrime as homeworking continues


Find helpful communication resources to share with your workforce here.




Managing testing and quarantine procedures 

The COVID-19 vaccinations will help to re-enable your operations, however many other factors still need to be integrated in your COVID-19 Return to Operations response. COVID-19 testing will continue to evolve as the pandemic progresses, helping to shorten quarantine periods and reduce the impact on your operations. As a part of your vaccine strategy, you will have to integrate a testing response. This should include:


  • Defining and enforcing appropriate quarantine and/or social distancing measures while minimising the negative impact on employees and operations
  • Understanding government guidelines around testing and travel, and how to reduce quarantine time pre and post quarantine
  • Rapidly identifying and isolating those infected by COVID-19 to protect the workforce
  • Managing return to work protocols for employees recovering from illnesses and other challenges


Find helpful communication resources to share with your workforce here.



Impact on International and Domestic Travel  

As more vaccines become available, organisations can expect travel to increase. Rapid testing and vaccination passports will become a part of a new COVID-19 travel norm. Organisations need to factor in the following in their new travel norm:


  • A higher level of oversight and planning is needed for every trip, not just for trips to high risk locations
  • Medical and security triggers to signify the engagement of travel
  • Considerations such as access to long term accommodation if a lockdown is announced, selecting the right mode of transport, access to medical care and itinerary planning all need to be considered
  • Reassuring employees and gaining confidence as travel resumes. Some travellers will be very eager to start travelling again, while others might prefer to wait a bit longer. Organisations need to start thinking about adapting their travel policy


Find helpful communication resources to share with your workforce here.



How can international SOS support your vaccine strategy? 

International SOS is assisting our clients plan their vaccination strategies and protocols for the various employee’s population, including support for appropriate communication and education of employees for optimal outcome. Such support ensures the “readiness” of employers once relevant COVID-19 vaccine(s) become available in a given location.


On a country-by-country basis, International SOS is continuing to identify the additional support that can be provided to our customers in facilitating, within the rules established by the national authorities, vaccine access, its distribution and/or the vaccination of the employees for our clients. Our consulting practice has this expertise and is available to support your business. 


  • The Need: Our client was concerned about their role in vaccination rollout as they have international assignees in several locations around the world and were concerned about local plans.


  • Our Offer: Our health experts were on hand to support with their vaccine planning by provisioning vaccine information for the countries they operate in. This included vaccine options, workforce coverage, pros and cons of different vaccines, timeframes for vaccination, costs, priority vaccination groups and any costs. 

    Read the full case study.


  • The Need: Due to the growing infodemic associated with COVID-19, the C-Suite was seeking a trusted source of preventative advice in the locations they are operated in, particularly in emerging markets. 


  • Our Offer: Our experts provided strategic advice on their approach including recommendations tailored to their needs; such as vaccine and testing options. We prepared bespoke policies and protocols, as well as providing ongoing health advice as and when they needed to speak to our senior health experts.

    Read the full case study.