The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the city of Chattanooga and member businesses, announced on Tuesday the launch of the Healthy Chattanooga Coalition, a proactive effort based on national and local public health expert recommendations.
The Healthy Chattanooga Coalition is a group of employers working together, supported by the city and Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, to provide strong incentives for vaccine use among workers and to increase vaccination rates across the city’s employers. The goal is to see a minimum of 60 percent vaccination rate in Chattanooga and Hamilton County by Dec. 1.
“Our clinical leaders strongly support the vaccine,” said Thomas Ozburn, president and CEO, Parkridge Health System. “They have studied the science behind it and it is safe and effective. The likelihood of getting seriously ill, becoming hospitalized or even dying as a result of COVID-19 is greatly diminished for those who are fully vaccinated.”
Leaders from every sector support the coalition’s work, said officials.
“Astec cares about the health and safety of our employees as well as the communities where we operate, which is why Astec supports the Healthy Chattanooga Coalition,” said Barry Ruffalo, president and CEO, Astec Industries, Inc. “As the number of cases continues to rise in our community, we have a responsibility to mitigate the risk to our employees by ensuring a safe work environment. Vaccinations and masks are the best tools we have in the fight against COVID–19.”
"I'm grateful to Chattanooga's businesses for stepping up to help keep our community safe," Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said. "Getting Chattanooga vaccinated is essential to our city's economic recovery and that's exactly what the Healthy Chattanooga Coalition is organized to encourage. The City of Chattanooga is proud to be a part of this effort and we will do our part to end this pandemic and protect one another—in our workplaces and in our community."
The Coalition will work within three tiers of choice to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
VACCINATION PARTICIPATION TIERS:
Tier 1: We will encourage all of our employees to get vaccinated and provide support to our employees throughout the process
Tier 2: We will provide incentives to employees to get vaccinated in some way and provide support to our employees throughout the process
Tier 3: We will require all employees to be vaccinated
as new guidance on vaccinations continues to develop from federal, state and local officials, the Chattanooga Chamber will continue to serve as an educational resource for members and the community at large.
To learn more about the coalition and to sign up, visit https://www.chattanoogachamber.com/hcc