Gartner Research

Gartner’s Vaccine Management Resource Center

Published: 22 December 2021


Delivering on the promise of COVID-19 vaccines requires executive leaders to be aware of the changing landscape to operationalize policy and actions based on trusted data to drive decision making. Gartner’s vaccine management research can help executive leaders speed up their search for insights.


Executives in various C-suite roles must unite in their organizational planning with a focus on COVID-19-vaccine-related guidances, such as return to work, possible mandates, and other policies to mitigate risk and prevent COVID-19 spread. (See Note 1 for a definition of executive roles.)

This resource center compiles research from across Gartner practice areas, based on client questions and surveys from organizational leaders around the world seeking advice on how to contextualize vaccine management strategies and navigate the vaccine solution landscape.Topics are framed by area of interest or role — to enable the creation and execution of strategic short- and long-term plans for protecting employees’ well-being, while ensuring continuity of operations.

Figure 1 shows some of the top topics in the areas listed below:

  • Enterprise executive leader guidance on vaccination and COVID-19 policies related to the workforce (human resources and legal aspects for employee health and safety), return to the workplace and future of work. (See Note 1 for a definition of executive roles.)

  • Public-health-sector capabilities and program assurance(activities often performed by both public and private sectors), reflecting some of the 52 research-based risk dimensions to support establishing and evaluating effective vaccine management programs.

  • Data and analytics solutions and infrastructurefor chief data officers, CIOs, and other leaders responsible for data and analytics and data-driven decision making (strategy and operations) for effective vaccine delivery and administration.

  • Security and riskfor security and risk management leaders, such as chief information security officers, addressing cybersecurity, program risk profiles, and security threat prevention and monitoring.

Figure 1. Vaccine Management Resource Center

The success of mass vaccination relies on consumer-centric strategies and agile operational plans co-created with partners. Such partnerships must unite with a shared goal of getting people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and could include the groups listed in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Vaccine Management Activities Involve Multiple Stakeholders

Research Highlights

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The following research serves to aid executives and other enterprise leaders responsible for making decisions regarding COVID-19 response and possible vaccine programs.

Heads of enterprise risk management and other executives can use this list of considerations, including emerging practices, to inform leaders and company policy.

Will employees run out the door in response to a vaccine mandate? To assess the risk level facing your organization, heads of enterprise risk management should identify where the most important knowledge lies, which roles are hard to fill and who is likely to leave.

Executive leaders have been making decisions that affect the future of their enterprises since the arrival of vaccines. Bring these topics to the board: vaccination strategies, the future of the workforce, the corporate real estate footprint, ensuring employee health and planning through uncertainty.

Hype and confusion surrounding the relative use cases and benefits of health passes and digital vaccine certificates are growing. This Quick Answer gives executive leaders details on the differences between, and the utility of, these solutions to inform reopening strategies.

The following research is primarily for CIOs, chief data officers (CDOs), and other leaders responsible for architecting and operationalizing digital infrastructures required for vaccine management.

Key questions addressed for data and analytics leaders:

  • What role does data and analytics play in delivering on the promise of vaccines to save lives and safely reopen economies?

  • What does a mature vaccine management system look like?

  • Which vaccine digital solutions are data and analytics leaders working on?

Executive leaders should take stock of how data and analytics have successfully enabled mass vaccination.

Public and private executive leaders must swiftly prioritize the rapid development of vaccine management systems, using national guidance and coordination mechanisms to meet the many challenges of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Digital vaccine certificates can help business and society reopen, but complexities make a path forward less clear. Executive leaders must understand the landscape, be open to altering plans based on new information and cautiously consider how their own governance frameworks can help solve issues.

Organizations that align data sharing with business outcomes outperform their peers. Executive leaders must invoke data sharing as a “business necessity” to drive and accelerate digital business. Not doing so will lead to increased costs, poor risk mitigation and loss of revenue.

Key questions addressed for HR leaders:

  • How do we create an employee vaccination policy for the enterprise?

  • What steps must HR leaders take to implement a vaccination policy or mandate?

  • How should HR deliver a vaccination policy to the workforce?

  • How can HR leaders manage the impact of a vaccination policy on talent?

HR leaders can use this report to understand the decisions that will be required to implement a robust and well-planned vaccine mandate.

Many organizations are deciding whether to mandate vaccines for their employees. HR leaders should use this article to tailor their vaccine mandate strategy and plan for potential implications.

As organizations craft vaccine and testing policies for their workforces in response to the federal mandate, OSHA’s new ETS may provide additional guidance for HR leaders. Explore the implications of the ETS on existing guidelines and future key decisions.

HR leaders can take five steps to prepare the organization for a vaccine-mandate-driven mass turnover event — assessing attrition risk, reviewing workflow prioritization and redeploying talent, expediting knowledge management, managing employee morale, and prioritizing recruiting efforts.

Key questions addressed for legal leaders:

  • How are my peers navigating vaccine mandates for their global organizations?

  • For which employee groups are peers mandating vaccines?

  • What are the health and safety protocols that peer organizations are continuing after return to the workplace?

  • What measures are other organizations taking if employees are found to be in noncompliance?

  • How are peers verifying employee vaccination status?

There’s been a surge in organizations planning to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations from 16% in late August 2021 to almost half by mid-September 2021. This comes after the United States announced a regulatory push aimed at businesses, raising executive leaders’ fears about employee morale and staff shortages.

Legal and compliance leaders should consider which tests to use, the need to pay for them, where to have employees tested, how to verify the results, and how to discipline those who refuse to take either vaccines or tests.

Now that the U.S. president’s administration has required large employers to get their workforce vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly for the virus, data privacy officers must help companies consider how to verify status, reassure workers and retain data.

Legal, compliance, HR, risk management and other leaders must weigh the vaccine’s impact on organizational strategy, employment and compliance risks, workforce planning, communications, and internal operations. This webinar reveals the ways that leading teams are responding and the steps that you should be taking.

Leaders are considering COVID-19 vaccines’ impact on organizational strategy, employment, legal and compliance risks, workforce planning and communications, and internal operations. Panelists on this webinar provide expert insights and peer perspectives on the impact of vaccines on corporate strategy.

These resources serve to aid the public and healthcare sectors, which often shoulder the responsibility for implementing COVID-19 vaccination programs and administering vaccines to the public.

Key questions addressed for public-sector leaders:

  • How do we implement the appropriate ecosystem governance to ensure we have the data and insights required for scaling our vaccine administration program?

  • What digital capabilities should we invest in to enable our vaccine administration program?

  • What are the best practices for engaging citizens in our vaccine administration program?

Executive leaders must come together to develop a COVID-19 vaccine strategic governance ecosystem framework to scale.

The scale and complexity of COVID-19 vaccine administration programs require new approaches, and proactive consumer engagement is emerging as a critical success factor. Healthcare delivery organization CIOs use this research to identify opportunities to digitally enable vaccine administration across their organizations.

Crisis response during a pandemic has security and risk dimensions. These resources provide guidance in the area of business continuity management (BCM).

Key questions addressed for security and risk management leaders:

  • What are some emerging policies in COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and what role or roles are responsible for such policies?

  • Which solutions can provide automation to assist my organization in understanding the business impacts of a pandemic?

  • What are the solutions that will map the key personnel and other dependencies supporting the delivery of services so that mitigation and recovery strategies can be developed?

  • Which solutions will support the effective management of a pandemic by activating enterprise BCM response procedures?

This research highlights changes to the security and risk management profession.

A vaccine mandate for employees must account for a variety of strategic, legal and technical challenges. Use this cheat sheet to inform company leaders on what you need to evaluate before implementing a mandate.

Using the right tools relates to building an effective BCM program — for planning and preparedness and at times of crisis when executing response and recovery procedures. This presentation helps security and risk management leaders select the right mix of solutions and vendors for their BCM needs.

This complimentary webinar reveals key practices for strong BCM and how you can utilize BCM in times of crises. The content is relevant to business leaders across all functions, including operations, IT, finance, HR, enterprise risk, supply chain, sales and customer service.

Gartner Recommended Reading


More Than 8.82 Billion Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker, Bloomberg. (Free registration required to view.)

Note 1: Executive Leaders — Who Are They?

For the purposes of this research, “executive leaders” generally are people in C-suite roles who may include the following:

  • Chief compliance officer

  • Chief data officer

  • Chief digital officer

  • Chief financial officer

  • Chief HR officer

  • Chief information officer

  • Chief information security officer

  • Chief operating officer

  • Chief strategy officer

  • Chief supply chain officer

  • General counsel

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