COVID-19 Vaccination Questions: What Keeps the FORUM Editorial Committee Up At Night

As vaccines roll out across the country, many of our conversations with family, friends and coworkers have included questions about when and how we can get a vaccine, what vaccines are available, and what kind of symptoms we can expect when we get the jab.

For the May issue, the FORUM Editorial Committee discussed possible articles on vaccine considerations in the association environment. However, most of the questions don’t have answers yet, as we expect to receive further guidance from governments and public health units. It is this uncertain future that keeps us up at night. Furthermore, given the wide range of contexts for associations, from profession to size to geographic location, the committee concluded that there are more exceptions than rules.

We’ve compiled a list of questions that associations should answer—if only to inform and support their teams. Reach out to experts where appropriate.


  • How can association leaders increase understanding about the vaccines and encourage vaccination?
  • How can association leaders contribute to educating their members and team about the research and approval process for the vaccines?

Human Resource Policies

  • Do employers have the right to make vaccination mandatory?
  • Will policies differ between healthcare associations and non-healthcare associations?
  • How will vaccination policy compliance be enforced, and have employers included booster shots or annual booster shots?

  • How can employers accommodate individuals who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons?
  • How can employers protect the privacy of those who cannot be vaccinated?

  • How can employers manage conflicting vaccination status, when members are vaccinated but employees are not?
  • Are employers permanently updating sick leave policies to support employees to avoid working while sick?

  • How can employers develop policies considering cross-region or provincial travel, when offices, events, or employees’ homes are required to follow different regional regulations?


  • Do venues and event planners have the right to make vaccination mandatory for attendees?
  • Will vaccination status affect liability for event planners?

  • Will venues benefit from implementing rapid on-site testing?
  • How can venues manage conflicting vaccination status, when attendees are vaccinated but employees are not?

  • After vaccination results in herd immunity in the population, what other changes will need to be made, considering the increased public awareness of illness and transmission? Will event capacities change? Will sanitizer stations, mask use, and individual food and beverage service become the norm?
  • Are online and hybrid meetings here to stay?


  • How will costs change after association leaders make changes to workplace policies and event management?

These discussions are ongoing and you may have other questions specific to your association’s needs. Although we can’t predict what the future will bring, we can keep planning for an end to the pandemic—or at least an end to lockdowns—so that we’re prepared. Join the conversation at a Trillium Network event, or reach out to CSAE members on Associations Connect.