CPG Vaccine Bulletin: March 1

The fight against COVID-19 is changing rapidly, especially as vaccine guidance is continually updated. To best communicate these changes, the Consumer Brands Association hosts weekly vaccine exchange calls with member companies to better align the industry’s goals and share information and ideas. The information below reflects the latest for the week of March 1, 2021.

As companies increasingly begin to vaccinate their essential workforce, Friday’s vaccine conversation focused on CPG’s experiences with employee vaccinations, both on site and off site.

Key learnings from these initial vaccinations included:

  • Even with advanced preparation, agility and constant communication were key. It was recommended to have staff ready to pivot and assist as needed.
  • Education around the vaccine is important, but watching peers receive the vaccine with no side effects was a strong motivator for others who may be hesitant. The celebration component of receiving the vaccine was also hugely inspirational as images of employees sharing why they were getting the shot were shared widely within the company.
  • So far, adverse reactions have been limited.
  • For off-site vaccinations, a company ID has been sufficient to prove essential status when needed. For on-site vaccinations, employees were asked to bring an authorization form, ID and insurance card, if applicable.
  • The vaccine is offered free of charge, regardless of who administers the vaccine and if the employee is insured through the company or not.

We hope to continue to hear more stories like these in the coming weeks as more of our workforce begins to receive their vaccinations.

Below is additional information and the latest resources for the industry:

The Latest: Vaccine Roll Out

  • Over the weekend, the FDA met and approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use authorization.
  • During Friday’s Board of Directors meeting, Cedric Richmond, senior advisor to President Biden and director, White House Office of Public Engagement, joined the call. Vaccines remain a top priority for the administration and the White House announced a private sector call to action to:
    • Require masks in the workplace.
    • Reduce barriers to vaccinations.
    • Communicate with local communities on masking and vaccinations.
  • The Biden administration also asked that companies share what they are already doing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
  • Last week, Consumer Brands leveraged its Critical Infrastructure Supply Chain Council to send a letter to House and Senate leadership on the need for federal authorities to implement the use of innovative vaccine distribution mechanisms including mobile vaccination units. More than 20 high-profile trade associations joined Consumer Brands in this call to action, which builds on best practices adopted at the state level to reach employees where they are located, faster.
  • Connecticut received attention last week as they shifted their vaccine prioritization to an age-based process. Governor Lamont stated that he was attempting to make the process as simple as possible. Consumer Brands has expressed concern about age-based prioritization to state officials.

Vaccine Hesitancy

  • The federal government continues to track vaccine hesitancy among critical workers, even with health care workers who were among the first to be offered the vaccine. Vaccine hesitancy is higher among women, Black Americans and rural health care workers. CDC’s essential workers vaccination tool kit is designed to help employers navigate vaccine hesitancy among their workers.
  • Consistent with what members shared on Friday, on-site vaccinations seem to boost the number of employees who are open to receiving vaccinations. It appears one successful way to address vaccine hesitancy includes vaccinating site leaders and peers first, so they can share their experiences and encourage others to do the same.

Federal Resources to Support Vaccine Sites

  • Representatives from FEMA region 2 gave updates on vaccine sites, specifically New Jersey, where there are currently six mass-vaccination sites. Once they are fully operational, these sites can vaccinate 4,000 individuals per day.
  • FEMA is also supporting smaller, community-based sites. While they are more resource intensive to set up, community vaccination centers allow for vaccinations to reach the most vulnerable populations who may have difficulty reaching/navigating a mass-vaccination site.

Consumer Brands is also keeping our vaccine resource center updated with new information as it becomes available, including tracking if a state is currently vaccinating the CPG industry.

Consumer Brands’ Vaccine Exchange is a peer-to-peer forum that provides need-to-know updates and facilitates sharing of unique insights from industry participants. Exchanges are hosted weekly on Fridays at 2:00 p.m. EST. Ask to join.


CPG Vaccine Bulletin: February 22


What the CPG Industry Can Learn from Healthcare’s Vaccination Experience


Disjointed State Vaccination Efforts Need Stronger Federal Hand