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VDH helping local businesses get employees vaccinated

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - President Biden directed the Department of Labor last month to require all businesses with over 100 employees to ensure workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or are being tested once a week.

Here in the Valley, the Virginia Department of Health has been making an effort to help area businesses get employees vaccinated.

The Central Shenandoah Health District has held a number of free vaccine clinics across the Valley over the past several months, but they have also held private clinics at a number of local businesses.

“If you’re at work from eight to five and they host a vaccine clinic in the middle of the day you can get up, leave your office, go get your shot, wait the 15 minutes, it’s really quick you don’t have to drive or take a break during a time when you might have other things to do,” said Jordi Shelton, communication specialist with the Central Shenandoah Health District.

VDH says it has partnered with a number of area businesses since the spring to host clinics on location during the work day to ensure employees have easy access to the vaccine.

VDH says people often feel more comfortable getting the shot in their work environment, which has also provided opportunities for education.

“There also will sometimes be information sessions before the vaccine clinics that folks who are hesitant or maybe don’t understand exactly why vaccination is so important can go in and ask those questions to a health educator again in a space that’s familiar and convenient,” said Shelton.

VDH says they have had some larger businesses reach out to them about hosting clinics since the president’s mandate.

The health district says employee vaccine requirements are just one of many factors that have led to a slow but steady increase in area vaccination rates.

“There are going to be a myriad of reasons why folks decide to get the shot, and I’m sure that for some people that was an influence for them, that it was something that was mandated by their job so they made the decision at that time,” said Shelton.

The federal government will begin enforcing a vaccine mandate for all of its employees in early November.

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