Anti-Covid vaccination in the workplace

In Italy, the anti-Sars-CoV-2 vaccination campaign is also taking place outside of healthcare facilities: a memorandum of understanding (strongly supported by the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Health) was signed on April 6th 2021 between the government, companies and union representatives, according to which – on a voluntary basis – workers can receive the vaccin in the workplace.
That is an additional opportunity compared to the ordinary way of the vaccination offer that will be guaranteed, in accordance with the timing of the national vaccination plan, if a worker does not intend to adhere to the company vaccination plan.
The establishment of vaccination points in companies will have to guarantee the requirements of effectiveness, efficiency and safety provided for all citizens in every context of the anti-Sars-CoV-2 vaccination campaign. In addition to a series of prerequisites, the vaccination in companies must provide for the presence of materials, equipment and medecines necessary for the safe conduct of activities, and computer tools allowing the recording of the vaccine inoculation, according to the procedures established at the regional level.
The costs of management and administration are borne by the employer who adheres to the protocol, while the State is responsible for the supply of vaccin doses, devices for inoculation (syringes, needles etc.), and the recording of vaccinations carried out.
The “competent doctor” (formerly called “occupational physician”, i.e. the doctor appointed by the employer who carries out health surveillance of workers) has the task of informing workers about the pros and cons of vaccination (providing them with the specific information note for the type of vaccine to be used, referring to the most updated version made available by the Ministry of Health), carrying out a preventive assessment of the health status of workers and acquiring their informed consent before the inoculation of the vaccine. The competent doctor has also the task of providing for the registration of vaccinations carried out in the manner prescribed by the Regional Health Services, ensuring the confidentiality of personal data.
The employer can prepare a vaccination plan that concerns his company in accordance with the guidelines contained in the annex to the protocol (“Interim indications for vaccination anti-SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 in the workplace”). The plan, also containing the number of vaccines required, must be forwarded to the competent Health Authority with the adhesion of the company to the initiative.
Registration must be carried out immediately after inoculation of the vaccin, during the post-vaccination observation period of at least 15 minutes. In order to intervene immediately in the case of adverse reactions, which should be recorded using the reporting methods provided by the Region, it is necessary to provide for the presence of resources capable of managing them. It is recommended, in any case, to refer any at-risk individuals to the Health Authority so that they can be vaccinated in a protected environment. The company is required to schedule also the inoculation of the second dose, if any, according to the ways and timing of each type of vaccine.
For the training of staff involved in vaccination operations, the course “Covid-19 vaccine campaign: the safe administration of the vaccine against Sars-CoV-2/Covid-19” (containig a specific part for vaccination in the workplace) is available on the platform of the Superior Institute of Health dedicated to distance learning in public health (Eduiss).