READING, Pa. - A lot of questions are swirling about the coronavirus vaccine.
As more and more people weigh whether to get vaccinated, employers are also trying to figure out how to protect their workers. That's why some business leaders in Berks County held a virtual town meeting on Tuesday to help companies navigate this very challenging new world.
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance knows businesses are really struggling right now. Even doctors are worried about workers they're seeing.
"We know that they're missing work. We know that they're getting sick. We know that there's a real impact on our business community," said Dr. Mary Kelleher, chief medical officer for the Berks Community Health Center.
And that's where attorneys like Kevin Moore with the Leisawitz Heller law firm come in. He's been advising companies on how to move forward, but it's been tough, because right now, there is no requirement from the federal or state government mandating that a business force workers to get the COVID vaccine, and that's why so many places are grappling with exactly what to do.
"This is confidential information. Treat it like medical information," Moore said. "I get a lot of calls because there's a COVID report and the employer is trying to adhere to their duty of confidentiality, but there's the walk of shame out the door after the person was in the manager's office in reporting a COVID requirement."
And a lot of people, even healthcare workers, still don't want to get vaccinated, so Moore suggested offering some kind of incentive, such as time off or a cash bonus, even just a gift card sometimes works.
"And I gotta tell you," Moore said, "I have a lot of employees who say, 'Oh, I don't really want it. Oh, I'm getting a bonus? OK. Then it's worth it.'"
And for now, because everything is changing so quickly, Moore said businesses just might need to do whatever it takes to encourage as many workers to get the shot as possible.
The chamber also said businesses should just stay diligent and continue to ask questions.