Board Converting News, August 30, 2021

NAM: How Manufacturers Are Dealing With The Delta Variant

Compensation & Mobility R.J. Corning of Whirlpool Cor- poration; and Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Shannon Lapierre of Stanley Black & Decker. The vaccination deal: Dr. Ybarra gave a rundown of the current state-of-play in the pandemic, detailing the various kinds of vaccines—protein-based, viral vector, and mRNA— and laying out which vaccines have been approved for use in the U.S. (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna). He explained the reasons why variants are occurring, and the possible need for booster shots as the effectiveness of vaccines wanes and variants create further challenges. • Who’s at risk: “It’s still the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Yba- rra. “It’s people who are young and think they’re in- vincible and don’t need the vaccine, and people who maybe just got one dose of the vaccine and didn’t com- plete their series. That’s the super high risk.” • Masks on: “Even if you’re vaccinated, you should wear a mask indoors,” said Dr. Ybarra. “You don’t want to stress test the vaccine.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps changing, plenty of manufacturers are looking for answers on how to protect their employees. To help clarify where we stand and what comes next, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a town hall on the strategies manufacturers are deploying to keep workplaces safe as well the vaccine policies some companies are implementing in response to the delta variant. Who participated: Moderated by NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Poli- cy Robyn Boerstling, the webinar featured Dr. Michael Ybarra of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association (PhRMA); NAM Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary Linda Kelly; Senior Director of Global

• An important reminder: Ybarra noted a “humbling reality”: that almost all of the current COVID-19 deaths are among un- vaccinated people. “The best thing you can do right now is get the vaccine if you’re not vaccinat- ed,” said Dr. Ybarra. “It’ll provide protection against the worst impacts of COVID-19. And if you’re in that high stress environment of being indoors with people whom you don’t know are vaccinated, it’s important to wear a mask because it will provide that extra layer of protection.” A NAM policy rundown: Kelly provided an overview of the NAM’s policies and ex- plained its phased approach to a vaccine mandate for all employees. • A vaccine mandate: In July, the NAM made a decision to require all NAM em- ployees to be vaccinated or to seek ac- commodations for medical or religious reasons by September 20. • A plan: “This decision was not taken light- ly,” said Kelly. “We talked about it for a long time, we worked through a lot of is- sues, we sought outside legal advice on it. • Feedback: “As we have been rolling this out…we’ve actually heard from a number of employees who have thanked us, be- cause the policy has made them feel saf- er about being in the office,” said Kelly. • Useful advice: “No matter what you’re doing on your vaccine policies, you need to have your HR, your legal team, and your communications team working very closely together,” she added. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


August 30, 2021

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