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Raelin Morgan spotted a Facebook post in a local moms group with news she had been waiting for.
There was now a fast, simple way for children ages 5 and up to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Charlotte. Sealed Air was holding vaccine clinics at its company headquarters in the southwest part of the city. The clinics were open to everyone, including children, following government approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids and younger teens.
It didn’t take long for Morgan to sign up her 9-year-old daughter, Michaela. Though they live about 30 minutes from Sealed Air’s campus, the registration process was easy and the drive worth it, Morgan says, and she wouldn’t have to fight the pharmacy websites.
Sealed Air began offering the pediatric vaccine in November as part of its long-standing commitment to serve its community. More than 3,200 adults, teens, and children have received a COVID-19 vaccine at Sealed Air’s headquarters since the company offered its first clinics there in April. The campus is located on a bus route, which makes it easier for residents and people who work nearby to obtain a vaccine.
The pediatric vaccine initiative began with a message from Samantha Howard, CEO and founder of Charlotte-based VaxClinic, which specializes in on-site immunizations for large employers. Howard said health officials from Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, were looking for locations to host pediatric vaccination clinics, particularly in neighborhoods where vaccine rates were lagging. Was Sealed Air interested?
The company jumped at the chance, says Debbie Moore, Sealed Air’s vice president of global human resources operations. VaxClinic had successfully provided the company’s original vaccine events, which were open not only to employees but also their families and the community at large. Those first clinics fulfilled “our purpose in our communities of giving back to where we live and work,” Moore says, while also meeting Sealed Air’s “zero harm philosophy and ensuring our workplace stays safe.”
“When the vaccine first came out, it was hard to find locations with available appointments,” Moore recalls. The clinics at Sealed Air gave employees a place “that was familiar to them, where they could bring their families.” Some employees were so appreciative, she says, they volunteered to help with campus logistics and greet clinic participants.
Many Sealed Air employees in Charlotte still work from home because of the pandemic. The quieter campus has been an ideal venue for the clinics, with lots of accessible parking and wide-open training rooms for maintaining social distancing while getting vaccinated. Sealed Air has been “the most accommodating, best community partner that we could have possibly asked for,” Howard says.
Beyond Charlotte, Sealed Air has also held vaccine clinics for employees at some of its large U.S. manufacturing facilities in Simpsonville, South Carolina; Rogers, Arkansas; Iowa Park and Wichita Falls, Texas; and Keyser, West Virginia.
These clinics fit into a broader program of COVID-19 response at Sealed Air, which is summarized in the company’s recent Global Impact Report. To keep the public informed of its COVID-19 procedures, Sealed Air posts information on its website and provides additional details for employees on its intranet. On the business side, Sealed Air creates protective packaging for safely shipping vaccines, ventilators, test kits, and more.
Supporting the well-being of employees has always been part of Sealed Air’s values. The company has previously hosted flu vaccine clinics and blood drives at its headquarters along with on-site mammograms. Earlier this year, the company launched a digital platform for employees to access tools, resources, and content to help them make small, everyday improvements to their physical and mental health.
The COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Sealed Air’s headquarters are scheduled to conclude by December 21, but could resume in 2022 if needed. Company leaders have been gratified at the community response. The clinics directly tie “to our purpose and our culture as an organization,” Moore says, “of making the world better than we found it.”
About the Author
Andrea Cooper is a freelance writer based in Charlotte. She contributes to a wide variety of national magazines and websites.