General Motors is expected to release the details of its COVID-19 vaccination plan to its workers sometime this month.
Company spokesman David Caldwell confirmed to The Detroit Free Press this week that GM is currently talking to the state health department and other government sectors on how it will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to its employees in the United States. The company is also taking questions from employees on the COVID-19 vaccine and answering them through its internal communication channels.
“Throughout the pandemic GM has communicated health and safety guidance to employees — including a series of videos and Q&As on topics like masks, workplace safety protocols, flu shot processes and more,” Caldwell told the Free Press in an interview. “That will continue in the coming weeks, including our plan for employees and vaccines.”
GM’s crosstown rival Ford recently purchased 12 ultra-cold freezers that are capable of safely storing the Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine, as both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be stored at a lower-than-usual temperature of around -70 degrees celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit). GM has not ordered any freezers yet, Caldwell explained, as not all potential COVID-19 vaccines will require this storage method.
“At this point, we’re not purchasing special equipment,” he said. “At least not until we know the type of vaccine likely to be distributed in certain areas, as not all vaccines require special equipment.”
GM has not indicated if it will encourage or incentivize its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, though Caldwell said it plans to “encourage” its employees to get one once it becomes available. He also said GM will not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for its employees.
GM assembly plants reopened in May following the initial COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year. The automaker distributed a 40-page handbook to employees outlining ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while at work, which included guidelines on social distancing and PPE. GM has managed to prevent any major outbreaks at its assembly plants, though a small number of its blue-collar employees have still tested positive for the virus.