Over the past 11 months we’ve monitored how Covid-19 has affected business. Now, as a vaccine is being distributed we’ll explain what a post-vaccinated globe will look like.
Taking a Stance on the Vaccine
What is your stance anyway?
As a corporate leader, you should unconditionally support whatever public health officials say, correct?
Before we go any further I’m going to introduce my current stance on the vaccine. This position is my own and does not necessarily represent any organizations I belong to.
“I question many aspects of the Covid-19 Vaccine:
First off, this is the first time in history we’ve wanted to immunize 100% of the population for a virus which has a 99% recovery rate.
Next, vaccines typically take 10 years to develop safely, whereas with this one we’ve developed it under 12 months. We don’t know the long-term effects of this vaccine, yet we’re distributing it in the millions.
I’m not an anti-masker, nor an anti-vaxxer. I’m happy to wear a mask in public spaces, and when the time is right I’ll consider being immunized.
In the debate over the Covid-19 Vaccine I find myself somewhere in the middle. If public health officials are confident enough to commission the vaccine they should provide supporting data.
Are governments simply under pressure to the supply vaccine, and missing out on their own due-diligence? I feel this conversation should be held without reprisal.”
Of course the safest stance is to wholeheartedly embrace public health officials recommendations on the vaccine no matter how questionable they may be. Although, that is a decision for you to make.
The Covid-19 Vaccine and SMEs
The novel coronavirus has largely been a disaster to small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Some have gone so far as to name this pandemic as “The Death of Small Businesses”.
Of course not all small businesses have been doomed by the economic challenges surrounding Covid-19, though many have. Does the Covid-19 vaccine then provide a glimmer of hope for SMEs praying for business continuity?
This truly depends on what the next normal will look like.
Do you believe the economy will revert to its 2019 habits, or will its current trajectory of food delivery, video conferences from your couch, and an obsession with one-day deliveries continue?
I believe it’s the latter, and SMEs must separate the reality of a post-vaccinated globe with their hopes for a revival to the “good old days”.
To all the SME owners, operators and executives reading – it is time to accept the changes that have come to your industry if you haven’t already. In most instances the changes that have come will stay. This is a time to think big if you haven’t already, and ask yourself a few of these questions:
How can we utilize technology to help our customers?
Where will our industry be in five, or ten years?
Would a shift into innovation warrant an outside investment?
As an organization are we prepared to adapt?
Which partnerships can fastrack our transition into technology?
Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Be Required By Businesses?
Whether or not businesses can enforce the immunization of their staff or subcontractors is a story that is developing daily, is unique to each jurisdiction, and should be watched closely.
In reality, every business is unique, and has their own transmission risks. Although, Q3 and Q4 of 2021 will likely see the beginning of a requirement for patrons and staff to hold a valid Covid-19 passport when attending the workplace.
Should the Developers of the Covid-19 Vaccine Profit?
Most for-profit corporate leaders will agree that Pfizer should be rewarded for their pharmaceutical breakthrough in developing a Covid-19 Vaccine.
Although, will short-medium term profits undermine a long-term recognition as the profiteers of Covid-19?
“It doesn’t really make sense to profit from this pandemic. This is a perfect time for pharmaceutical companies to develop their brand equity, which will serve them well for longer-term profits. In the long run, what’s really important for pharmaceutical manufacturers is in brand equity. So people trust Pfizer.” said Tinglong Dai, associate professor of operations management and business analytics at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School in Baltimore.
Vamil Divan, a senior biopharmaceuticals research analyst with Mizuho Securities, said he believes these companies are very aware of the need to be responsible for their pricing and not to overcharge. “I think they think it’s appropriate to get back the investment they made. But I imagine they are being reasonable about it,” he said.
The giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the upstart biotech firm Moderna, which both have announced test results showing their coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95 per cent effective, have indicated they will make some profit from their ventures.
Outspoken Corporate Leaders on the Covid-19 Vaccine
It goes without saying that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla has been one of the most notable skeptics of the Coronavirus vaccine.
He’s advocated for a natural path to herd immunity over lockdowns.
Musk has seamlessly avoided any backlash over his contrarian views of the Covid-19 vaccine. Is Musk an anomaly, or will other outspoken corporate leaders be exempt from any repercussions?
In reality, Musk is a rarity and other corporate leaders shouldn’t assume the same exemptions.
Is a Team Member Immune If They’ve Been Vaccinated?
Not necessarily. The FDA guidelines call for Covid-19 vaccines to “prevent disease or decrease its severity in at least 50% of people who are vaccinated.”
In a recent study the “Pfizer-BioNTeach Vaccine” was 95 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 among participants of a clinical trial with 8 cases in the vaccine group, and 162 cases in the placebo group. Of these 170 Covid-19 cases, 1 in the vaccine group and 3 in the placebo group were classified as severe.
Essentially, this small amount of data suggests the vaccine is effective, but not entirely. Additionally, due to its recent development we’re left without any long-term data of side effects or a lack thereof.
Will Our Team Need To Respect Safety Measures If They Become Vaccinated?
Yes. It is expected that 2021 will be another year of physical distancing, masks, and diligence in hygiene. Whether a team member is vaccinated or not they should continue taking health and safety precautions seriously, and it is the employer’s duty to ensure this.
To Conclude Covid-19 Vaccine: Implications For Business
We hope this article has provided some insight on the business implications of the Covid-19 Vaccine. As corporate leaders we not only care about our team, but our communities at large.
I hope we can return to a platform of healthy discussion on the vaccine, where legitimate questions can be answered to lessen confusion, and provide clarity.
Once we have the data publicly available, and external advisory boards levy their data and announce that the Covid-19 vaccine is broadly safe, and effective, we will then see broader adoption of the vaccine.
We wish health and happiness to you and your team. Thank you.