There are currently two COVID-19 vaccines that the FDA has authorized for use in the U.S. These same vaccines and others have also been authorized for use in some countries outside of the U.S.
While vaccine distribution will vary by country and state (within the U.S.), and many specifics remain unknown, we are starting to see the first wave of doses offered to mostly healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and older adults. Following the initial wave of vaccinations, jurisdictions will expand access to broader distribution. At the moment, it’s difficult to get an appointment to be vaccinated, but we expect that appointments will become more available to V Teamers in the coming weeks and months.
As COVID-19 vaccination appointments become available, employees should attempt to plan vaccination appointments outside of their work schedule. However, given the limited access to COVID-19 vaccines at the current time, we recognize that some V Teamers may receive an appointment that conflicts with their work schedule.
With that in mind, Verizon employees who need time off from work to attend their COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be able to request the time they need (up to 4 hours paid) to get the first dose and then again request the time they need (up to 4 hours paid) for vaccines requiring a second dose.
In advance of their scheduled vaccination appointment, employees will work with their supervisors, or resource management teams where applicable, who will make every effort to allow employees to take the time they reasonably request (up to 4 hours) to attend their own vaccination appointments, consistent with the needs of the business. Employees who use this time may be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination appointment.
Please note, this only applies to employees who have appointments to be vaccinated that conflict with their work schedules. If an employee wants to take time away from work to assist a family member with a COVID-19 vaccination, they can follow the normal process in their workgroup to request time off.
In the event any law, regulation, or policy provides paid time to receive vaccinations, we will of course comply, and the paid vaccination time available under this program will coordinate so as not to be duplicative.
We anticipate that later in 2021, COVID-19 vaccines will be more readily available and vaccination sites will be more prevalent, so employees generally will not need time away from work to get vaccinated. As that occurs in different areas, we will discontinue paid COVID-19 vaccination time and encourage everyone who has not already been vaccinated to do so outside of their work schedule or use other available paid time off, such as personal days.
It’s important to remember that as officials work to broaden access to vaccines, case rates remain high worldwide. We must stay vigilant when it comes to following safety protocols and procedures, like wearing face coverings and social distancing. Since each state and country is handling the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines differently, employees should follow local and state guidelines to make sure they have the latest information.