Recent news about multiple potential vaccines for COVID-19 has offered some light at the end of a very long tunnel. There’s hope that this will mean an imminent return to normality. Many businesses now have to decide on their strategy going forward. Does it make sense to invest in a temperature kiosk scanner and health screening process if a vaccine is going to be coming out soon? Will we still need masks and continue social distancing in 2021?
While the news about vaccines is certainly encouraging, businesses need to remain vigilant to protect their employees and customers, for three important reasons.
Not everyone is willing to take a vaccine
A recent Gallup poll study revealed that 4 out of 10 Americans will not take vaccine. While this higher than previous results, it still leaves 42% that wouldn’t consider getting a vaccine. As a result, even when a vaccine is released, there would still be a significant chance that a person entering your facility wouldn’t have been vaccinated and potentially carried the virus.
Not everyone would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity but, according to WHO, it would need to be the vast majority. While the exact figure required varies depending on the disease, herd immunity against measles needs 95% of the population to be vaccinated.
We don’t yet know how the vaccines will work
Although the reports have been positive, the research is far from over. There are still questions that need to be answered. How effective is each vaccine? What number of doses would be needed? How long would immunity last after a vaccine? What are the results for different risk categories?
We’ll likely have more answers when the results have been studied and peer-reviewed. Until then, it’s good to be optimistic, but cautiously so. Even if the vaccine exceeds our expectations, there will still need to be effective distribution to the population. The logistics behind such an operation mean it won’t be as simple as flicking a switch.
McKinsey’s latest predictions as to when the pandemic end suggest it’ll be the latter part of 2021 before that important herd immunity is reached. In the meantime, businesses will have to be proactive in protecting people on their premises.
Building a reliable infrastructure
After the tragic events of 9/11, airport security changed drastically. 20 years later, we still have many of those additional security procedures in place, to the point we can’t bring a bottle of water on a flight. It’s likely that, in a similar way, the processes that we implement to combat COVID-19 will still be in place for many years to come, even with a vaccine.
So the question becomes how are we going to protect individuals in the workplace when only a little more than half of the population is willing to get vaccinated? Do we still continue to practice social distancing, wear masks, and do we still need a temperature kiosk scanner?
For example, one of the lessons we can learn from Taiwan is how they had a reliable screening process in place. Having struggled after the SARS outbreak in 2003, they already had temperature scanners in place at their airports. As a result, when a mysterious virus emerged in Wuhan, they were able to act quickly and decisively. This has led them to have some of the lowest case rates in the world.
While we don’t know what the future holds, we all know how quickly a virus can spread around the globe. Having the screening processes and safety procedures in place now means we’ll be in a better position to handle any other outbreaks that may occur.
The reports about vaccines are positive, and will hopefully mean the end of this virus. However, businesses would do well to continue taking action to protect the people who use their premises. COVID-19 is not going to disappear overnight. Having a robust screening process in place — accurate temperature scanning along with health screening — can help safeguard your business now and in the future.
Find out more about MyLobby’s temperature kiosk scanner solutions and see how they could help your business today.