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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Some of Iowa's largest companies offering PTO for vaccine appointments

The Iowa Business Council said the key to approaching the COVID-19 vaccine at work is flexibility.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — As more and more COVID-19 vaccines become available to Iowans and the eligibility requirements open up, executives at some of Iowa's largest businesses are thinking about how to handle the shot among their workers.

In an informal survey sent to members of the Iowa Business Council on behalf of Local 5, many executives said they were allowing employees to take about two hours of paid time off to get a vaccine appointment.

"As we've learned with everything over the past year in the pandemic, they key is to be flexible," IBC President Joe Murphy said. "You have to provide flexible working conditions for everyone."

Some other approaches from businesses include:

  • Allowing time off after a vaccine appointment
  • Providing factual information about the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Working with local public health to stand up vaccination clinics at places of work

"You know we have all these showrooms and auditoriums and other big spaces that we're not using right now, so why not put vaccination clinics there," Murphy added. "Not only for the employees but also for the community."

One thing businesses admit they have not navigated yet is how to have conversations with employees about the vaccine, or if they have had the shot. 

"We're still figuring out what we can and can't do with that," Murphy said. "It's a work in progress, and it's something we're taking a look at."

Watch: Can your employer require you to get the COVID-19 vaccine?