PRESS RELEASE

Month of March Will be Critical in Dampening Pandemic, Says Business Group on Health Podcast Guest

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 8 –  The month of March will be critical in gaining some sense of control over the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, said in the latest Business Group on Health podcast.

If enough people get vaccinated in the United States by that time, “it should make us relatively resistant to a major new surge,” Dr. Wachter said, adding, “It doesn't get us to herd immunity, meaning the virus is dying out, but it definitely begins to dampen the curve.”

In the episode, Wachter, a nationally recognized expert on the pandemic who has been named more than a dozen times as one of the 50 most influential physician executives in the United States, was in conversation with Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health, the premier non-profit organization representing large employers’ perspectives on health, well-being and workforce strategy issues.

Wachter explored complex variables that could have an impact on achieving a suitable vaccination rate in March, including supply and distribution, emerging variants, the interconnectedness of countries around the globe, and the need to get accurate information to marginalized communities.

But he remained hopeful, saying, “Life could be returning to something resembling normal by the summer or early fall.”

Guests on Business Group on Health podcasts share perspectives about relevant health and well-being issues facing employers as they support their workforces. Previous episodes have focused on such topics as confronting racism and prioritizing health equity; the case for honoring caregivers; and how the pandemic is accelerating the future.

Early in the pandemic, the Business Group on Health made a wealth of materials available to the public and has since developed more robust resources for its members, including survey findings and benchmarking calls about employers’ strategies to encourage vaccination.

The Business Group on Health also publicly shared insights about addressing health inequity in promoting vaccine strategy, in advance of World Day of Social Justice on Feb. 20. 

About Business Group on Health

Business Group on Health is the leading non-profit organization representing large employers’ perspectives on optimizing workforce strategy through innovative health, benefits and well-being solutions and on health policy issues. The Business Group keeps its membership informed of leading-edge thinking and action on health care cost and delivery, financing, affordability and experience with the health care system. Business Group members include 70 Fortune 100 companies as well as large public-sector employers, who collectively provide health and well-being programs for more than 60 million individuals in 200 countries. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.