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Workday adds vaccine management for 45M to its platform

COVID-19 vaccine management is getting the attention of HR vendors. Workday announced its vaccine tool, which integrates with the platform's core HR data.

Workday Inc. on Thursday introduced a vaccine management tool to its platform in response to COVID-19. The HCM vendor said the tool will help employers plot a return to the office. It can integrate employee HR data with immunization records.

Workday's tool may have a large impact. Its global customer base supports approximately 45 million workers, the firm said.

Among the capabilities in Workday's vaccine management tool is scenario planning. This can include how the "rate of vaccination can impact demand for office space, availability of an in-person skilled workforce, or need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning services," Barbry McGann, executive director for the office of Workday's CHRO solution marketing, wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Workday said its vaccine management tool will be part of its Return to Workplace system, which helps employers reopen their offices.

QR codes and digital certificates

HR vendors are making provisions for COVID-19 vaccine management. SAP SuccessFactors, for instance, said its existing permit system manages uploaded vaccine certificates. But it's investigating QR code scanning capability. Some proposals for digital vaccination certification include scannable QR codes on smartphones not unlike digital boarding passes used by airlines.

But what's not clear is how employee vaccination records will make it into an employer's vaccine management system. The only proof of vaccination that employees have today is a paper card meant to keep track of the vaccine type and the number of doses a person has received. Tech vendors and consortiums are racing to make digital vaccination certificates available. But it's also possible that employees will just have to self-attest to receiving the vaccine.

"Workers need a way to securely self-attest their health status -- including whether they've been vaccinated, when the doses were administered and which vaccine they received -- in a way that protects their privacy," McGann wrote.

Vaccine rollout scenarios can also be used to assess employee sentiment and the willingness of employees to return to the office, McGann said.

There is a push to allow some businesses to vaccinate their employees at their workplaces. Amazon is planning on-site vaccinations for its workers in Washington state, according to The Seattle Times.

On Thursday, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce, along with health groups, announced a Vaccination Credential Initiative.

The coalition's goal is to enable access to vaccination records using open and interoperable standards. These standards include a smartcard specification as well as W3C Verifiable Credentials. But how this group plans to deploy its approach -- and when -- is still a question.

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