By Jeff Todd

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Public and private workforce mandates with a deadline are working to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 in Colorado. Recently announced vaccination rates for companies and government organizations have all exceeded 95% of employees complying with the orders to get vaccinated or potentially lose their job.

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“This is a war that we are all waging against a relentless foe, and that’s what COVID virus is. The only way that you win a war like that is by everybody getting shoulder to shoulder and saying, ‘I’m in. I’m going to do what I can. Do my part.’ My part is to get vaccinated and to be sharing good information with other people,” said Dr. Lee Newman, a professor at the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health Anschutz Medical Campus.

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Dr. Newman has consulted with local and national companies throughout the pandemic and has most recently stressed the importance for companies to implement a vaccine requirement.

“It’s good for them. It’s good for the business. It’s good for us keeping the economy going and it keeps people From ending up in hospitals and dying,” Dr. Newman said. “We now have a huge amount of information that says, if you can get all of your employees vaccinated, you can, they can be protecting themselves, they can protect their coworkers, and they can protect everyone they come in contact with.”

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The federal government is finalizing plans to make all businesses with more than 100 employees implement requirements. A timeline for that plan has not been announced.

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In Colorado, health care systems, governments, and school districts have all announced compliance around 98 percent for their workforces.

“We’re seeing that people want their jobs, and they fundamentally want to be safe and help other people be safe. So, we’re seeing very high rates of acceptance. Most people when they get good information, and the people around them are encouraging them to do the right thing will do the right thing,” Dr. Newman said.

On Oct. 12, The Tri-County Health Department is hosting a webinar specifically for businesses interested in mandates.

(credit: CBS)

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“We do know that it works. And we do think that it’s a very good thing. The vaccine is what’s going to get us out of the pandemic,” said Mellissa Sager the Tri-County Health Department Policy and Public Affairs Officer. “Our webinar will focus on the federal requirements that are to come. Really just going through what we know, and what we don’t know. And really soliciting questions from our businesses. What are you concerned about? What do you need to know? So that we can focus our efforts on finding that information and then presenting it back out in future webinars.”

Jeff Todd