PartnerHero has associates in 34 countries, giving us a wide-lens view into how COVID has impacted different regions and how the vaccine rollout is progressing around the world. In this blog post we’re sharing an update about the vaccine distribution in the countries where our operations are concentrated.
According to Maurice Molina, Director of Workplace Management, Honduras, vaccines are not yet widely available in the country. Luckily, our team coordinated with the local Chamber of Commerce to host a “vaccine rally” for PartnerHero associates and others who work in the same office park. The first vaccine was available the second week of July and the second dose is scheduled for October. Our Workplace Management team helped with these events by providing snacks and beverages to our employees and following up with them to check for any reactions. We advised those who were experiencing side effects to take the day off.
According to Maurice, “Honduras will continue to enforce an optional work from home policy until the end of year. Our main priority is our employee's health and safety. Although the rollout is slow, most of our associates are feeling some relief, as things begin to feel normal again.”
Although the vaccine rollout has been slower in Brazil than the US, most of our Brazilian associates have scheduled appointments to receive a vaccine over the course of the next few months. According to William Gaspar, Regional Talent Management Coordinator, we’ve offered paid time off for associates to get the vaccine and deal with any side effects.
The vaccine has been widely available in the US since April. According to Julia Longoria, Head of US People Operations, we’re continuing to provide resources and support for those who choose to get vaccinated, as well as paid time off for anyone experiencing side effects from the vaccine. In terms of our office set-up, we’re reviewing space planning and seating arrangements. We’re using software from Eden that allows employees to book space in the office in advance. The software also let’s us cap how many people are in our offices at any given time. To book space, employees fill out a short questionnaire that will make it easy to do contact tracing should anyone contract COVID.
Romania & Germany
According to Olimpia Bordea, People Operations Manager for EMEA, the vaccine is widely available in Romania and everyone who wants to get a vaccine can get one. PartnerHero associates are given four hours of PTO to get the vaccine. We are opening a new, bigger office in Bucharest to prepare for return-to-work, allowing for more social distancing.
In Germany the vaccine is less widely available although 50% of the population has been vaccinated.
Similar to the US, there is a fair amount of misinformation about the vaccine in Europe and some associates are reluctant to get one. PartnerHero continues to share scientific information about the vaccine and support associates who choose to receive one.
According to Vicky Moreno, Head of Workplace Services in the Philippines and remote associates in APAC, only 5.8% of the population in the Philippines has been vaccinated and the vaccine is not yet widely available. The best way to get a vaccine is through your local city or region (called LGU for “local government unit”). There have also been some vaccination opportunities for those who do go into the office and, for that reason, the PartnerHero associate vaccination rate is closer to 14% (more than double the national average). PartnerHero continues to encourage associates to sign up for vaccines via their LGU and the office (when possible) and support them with time off and reimbursement for costs associated with the vaccine.
Similarly to in the US and Europe, there is a fair amount of vaccine disinformation spreading and many in the Philippines are reluctant to get the Sinovac (which is the most widely available option there) due to historical tensions between China and the Philippines. Vicky believes that when Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines become available more people will be in line to get vaccinated.
The rest of APAC is a mixed bag. Japan and Australia are the furthest behind in terms of access to a vaccine but we are hopeful that associates there will be eligible this fall. Associates in Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan have been vaccinated.
Other Parts of the World
In addition to the countries mentioned above we have associates in 15 other countries from South Africa to France to New Zealand and beyond. Associates in most of these countries have been able to access vaccines, the main exception is Nigeria. We are hopeful that vaccines will become available for them by the end of the year.