BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos National Laboratory has announced to employees that the Laboratory has been approved by the state of New Mexico to provide COVID-19 vaccines to employees on-site and has tested the process with vaccinations of frontline medical staff while the general rollout plan is being finalized.
The Laboratory has been developing the plan since last summer and the process will be similar to one used for the flue vaccination on-site last fall. State guidelines for distribution which include prioritization of healthcare providers, first responders and emergency response teams are in place.
The announcement states that offering vaccines to employees is an important part of the LANL’s safety culture and that the Lab has the right facilities, processes and people to get the job done. It notes that providing vaccines for employees is also a way to relieve stress for local communities whose healthcare systems are overloaded due to COVID-related issues.
“The safety and well-being of our employees is paramount,” said Michael Hazen, the Associate Director for Environment, Safety, Health & Quality and Safeguards & Security. “Eligible employees should strongly consider taking the opportunity to protect themselves, their families and their co-workers by getting vaccinated. Getting vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available is vitally important for the Laboratory and the surrounding communities in which our workers and their families live”.
Employees are also encouraged to obtain the vaccine from another source if they have the opportunity. As of Friday, LANL had confirmed 590 COVID cases and had administered more than 12,000 tests to employees.