Laurie Sewell, president and CEO of Culver City, California-based Servicon
Laurie Sewell, president and CEO of Servicon

There are still a number of questions looming about the COVID-19 vaccination. Is it safe? Where do frontline workers fall in line to receive the shot? Why should workers get the vaccine? CleanLink sat down with Laurie Sewell, president and CEO of Culver City, California-based Servicon, to get answers to these questions and more.

Why should cleaning professionals be vaccinated?
First of all, we think that everyone should get vaccinated. We believe the science is clear — getting as many people in the country and world vaccinated is the only real way out of this pandemic. That applies to people of all professions and walks of life.
Having said that, we believe cleaning professionals should have prioritized access to the vaccine. They are on the front lines keeping our economy running and our communities safe and healthy, and are especially important in healthcare during this pandemic. They also tend to come from communities disproportionately impacted by this crisis. Getting vaccinated will protect them and their families while they are out doing their essential jobs every day. The health and safety of frontline worker should be our primary concern, and the vaccine is the best way to ensure that.

Will the vaccine hurt? What are the side effects?
The vaccine is just like any other shot and there are no reports of any long-term side effects. You might have a sore shoulder for a bit or feel fatigue for a few hours, but any effects like that are temporary. Most of our employees who have taken it have reported no side effects, and the few that have said they went away quickly and are very happy that they took the shot.

How can we communicate to frontline staff that the vaccine is safe?
We have implemented a robust communication strategy to reach our employees and educate them with the facts about the vaccine, its efficacy and safety. We send company-wide emails in both English and Spanish that include Vaccine FAQs. A large portion of our employees follow and engage with us on Facebook, so we post information about the vaccines, as well as photos and testimonials of our employees who have received it on our page to familiarize people with the process. We also utilize our bi-weekly town halls to cascade information about the vaccine throughout the organization and direct our site leadership to carry the message to their field staff.
We are also in discussions with clients, community groups, and the union about working together to spread the word. Communication is an ongoing, multifaceted process, but we continue to reach and educate more and more employees about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can someone get COVID-19 as a result of receiving the vaccine?
According to health officials, no, the COVID-19 vaccines cannot give anyone the virus.

Should those who are young and at low-risk for COVID-19 complications still get the vaccine?
Yes, we believe that everyone should receive the vaccine. COVID-19 can have very negative impacts on anyone’s health, even if they are young and have no underlying medical conditions. The new variants of the virus are also proving to be more infectious and transmissible, so the importance of the vaccine is only growing. It will protect you from and will also help keep your family and loved ones safe from infection.

Will the vaccine be expensive?
No. The United States has negotiated a very low price for the vaccine and for the first year it will either cost very little or even be free for most people. However, we don’t know how much it will cost next year, so it’s best to take it as soon as you can.

Will children receive the vaccinations?
Not yet, but there are clinical trials underway to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective for children. We anticipate that it will be, but we appreciate that the vaccines continue to undergo rigorous safety processes.

Why can’t everyone get the vaccine now?
It’s simply a supply issue. There are not enough doses to give to everyone. The vaccine development was a historic scientific achievement and success, but it will take several months to produce enough vaccines for everyone to receive their doses. While the rollout was slow at first, it is picking up speed and increasing its efficiency. Right now we are still following a prioritized and tiered approach, and Servicon has actively worked to make sure our employees are considered high priority.