A ‘huge number’ of Delta employees rushed out to get vaccinated after the company’s decision to enforce $200 on workers who refused the shot.
The new policy will take effect November 1, and staffers using the airline’s health insurance will face a $200 premium each month if unvaccinated at that point, CEO Ed Bastian announced late last August in a memo sent across the company.
‘The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,’ the memo reasoned.
Following the declaration, nearly 4,000 Delta employees out of an approximate 20,000 who had yet to get vaccinated have since been spurred to get the jab, the company’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Henry Ting, said Thursday, during a media briefing presided over by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Nearly 4,000 Delta employees out of an approximate 20,000 who had yet to get vaccinated have since been spurred to get the jab after a memo from the CEO threatened workers with monthly fines
Vaccination rates have increased following the emergence of the COVID-19 virus’ Delta variant
The Delta variant surge in August had brought daily COVID-19 cases up to nearly 300,00, and although cases began to dip in September, the nation experienced another dramatic uptick
‘Just within the two weeks of the announcement, we’ve seen nearly 20 percent – or one-fifth – of that 20,000 decide to get the vaccine,’ Ting said.
Ting remarked that the sudden uptick reflected a ‘huge number’ of staff that were influenced to get the jab – especially taking into account the hesitancy of those 20,000 initial holdouts – even though it’s only about a 4 percent jump.
Before Bastian’s declaration, approximately 74 percent of Delta’s workforce had received the vaccine. Now, that number has increased to 78 percent.
‘That last 4 percent is very different from the first 4 percent,’ Ting attested, referencing unvaccinated staff’s initial reluctance to get the shot.
The new policy will take effect November 1, and staffers using the airline’s health insurance will face a $200 premium each month if unvaccinated at that point
Ting also pointed out that Delta did not observe any turnover or resignations as a result of the new guidelines set on employees.
The airline has also mandated that all new hires be vaccinated, a decision that, according to Ting, has not deterred candidates applying for Delta’s thousands of open job positions.
Airlines issuing the mandate are fueling a national debate on whether or not companies and government are overreaching, amid fears vaccine approval has been rushed.
United announced that the carrier will fire employees who refuse to follow their mandate, going as far as to placing those who refuse to get the jab due to religious or medical reasons on unpaid or medical leave, respectively.
The airline has also mandated that all new hires be vaccinated, a decision that has not deterred candidates applying for Delta’s thousands of open job positions
Hawaiian is giving staff until November 1 to receive their second shot, if they are getting a two-dose vaccine.
The airline will only allow exemptions from its vaccine mandate on the basis of religious or medical reasons, while low-cost carrier Frontier said its employees can opt out of the vaccine through weekly testing.
Southwest, on the other hand, will ‘continue to strongly encourage’ employees to get vaccinated, however, its stance on requiring employees to get the jab has not changed, CEO Gary Kelly said in an internal memo obtained by CNN.
‘Obviously, I am very concerned about the latest Delta variant, and the effect on the health and Safety of our Employees and our operation, but nothing has changed,’ Kelly said.
Before the shift in company policy, approximately 74 percent of Delta’s workforce had received the vaccine. Now, that number has increased to 78 percent
In a similar case, American Airlines will not require employees to show proof of vaccination, but will offer workers who get vaccinated by the end of August one extra day of vacation in 2022 as incentive.
‘We certainly encourage it everywhere we can, encourage it for our customers and our employees, but we’re not putting mandates in place,’ American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said in a New York Times podcast interview.
Outside the airline industry, the US military, high-profile hospitals and US universities have issued vaccine requirements, and many more have joined the trend after the Pfizer vaccine was given full approval on August 23.
Companies such as Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook have also issued companywide mandates to curb the spread of COVID.
A multitude of carriers are now issuing vaccine mandates, especially after the Pfizer vaccine was given full approval on August 23
These mandates come amid Biden’s new, aggressive approach to quelling the Covid-19 pandemic – which, according to the White House, will affect two-thirds of the American workforce.
The strategy involves six steps aimed at boosting the US vaccination rate, which fell over the summer as a new wave fueled by the Delta variant plunged health care systems in areas with largely unvaccinated populations back into disarray.
The Delta variant surge in August had brought daily COVID-19 cases up to nearly 300,00, and although cases began to dip in September, the nation had experienced another dramatic uptick on Thursday.
The CDC reported more than 163,000 new cases, and nearly 1,650 new deaths
About 73.4 per cent of Americans over the age of 12 have at least one vaccine dose, but less than 63 per cent are fully vaccinated – far short of the threshold to reach herd immunity.
Biden’s approach plans to mandate all federal employees and federal contractors get vaccinated.
President Joe Biden slammed the 80 million Americans who have yet to get a COVD vaccine shot, asking them ‘what more is there to wait for’
It also requires vaccinations for more than 17million healthcare workers at Medicare and Medicaid-participating facilities, and requires all businesses with 100 or more employees to tell their workers to get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing.
The rule will be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a regulatory arm of the Labor Department, for companies with more than 100 employees.
Biden ordered the agency to implement an Emergency Temporary Standard that would penalize companies that don’t comply up to $14,000.
But because there’s no national system in place to track vaccination status, enforcement will likely depend on employees reporting violations to OSHA.
Federal workers who fail to get the shot within 75 days can face disciplinary action, which White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki warned Thursday rises to termination. ‘Hopefully it doesn’t come to that,’ she said at her daily news briefing.
She added that the rule would likely mean employees need to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the shot but it remains unclear if that’s certain.
While private businesses that employ less than 100 people are exempt from Biden’s rule, the White House has signaled strong support for private-sector vaccine mandates.
Workers not under OSHA protections also can’t be affected. According to the agency’s site that includes people who are self-employed and people in industries whose hazards are regulated by another federal agency like the Mine Safety and Heath Administration or the Department of Energy – though the latter now falls under Biden’s order for federal employees.
As far as when the mandate starts, the White House said OSHA will likely issue a rule ‘in the coming weeks’.
Companies across the country impose vaccine mandates for workers – and even visitors
AT&T – Only managers must be vaccinated
Amtrak – All employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 and new employees must show proof of vaccination starting Oct. 4. Employees could be granted medical or religious exemptions and will instead undergo weekly Covid-19 testing
Ascension Health – All employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 12, including those working remotely
Centene Corporation – All employees must provide proof of vaccination or undergo regular Covid-19 testing and wear masks at all times in the office
Chevron – Expatriate employees, workers traveling internationally, and employees on U.S.-flagged ships must be vaccinated. Offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico must be vaccinated by Nov. 1
Cisco – All office workers must be vaccinated
Citigroup – All employees working in major cities must be vaccinated
CNN – All employees must be vaccinated and three have already been fired for violating the policy
CVS – Pharmacists must be vaccinated by Nov. 30 and corporate workers must be vaccinated by Oct. 31, with exemptions for medical and religious reasons
Deloitte – All employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 11
Delta Air Lines – All employees must be vaccinated or pay an additional $200 per month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan
DoorDash – All corporate employees working in person must be vaccinated
Envision Healthcare – All employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 with medical and religious exemptions
Equinox – New York City employees and members must be vaccinated beginning in September
Facebook – All US office workers must be vaccinated
Ford – All employees who travel for international business must be vaccinated
Frontier Airlines – All employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1 or undergo weekly Covid-19 testing
Gilead Sciences – All U.S. employees and contractors must be vaccine by Oct. 1 with exemptions for medical and religious reasons
Goldman Sachs – All office staff and visitors must be vaccinated and will be subjected to regular Covid-19 testing starting September 7, with no exemptions
Google – All office workers must be vaccinated
Hawaii Airlines – All employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 1, but could apply for medical or religious exemptions and instead undergo regular Covid-19 testing
Hess – Employees who work in the Gulf of Mexico must be vaccinated by Nov. 1
Johnson and Johnson – All U.S. employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 4 with exemptions for medical or religious reason
Lyft – All office workers must be vaccinated
McDonald’s – All U.S. employees, excluding those at corporate or franchise restaurants, must be vaccinated by Oct. 11
MGM Resorts – Salaried office employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 15 and new office employees must be vaccinated starting Aug. 30. Las Vegas employees must undergo regular Covid-19 testing
Microsoft – All office workers and guests must be vaccinated by Oct. 4
Moderna – All US employees must be vaccinated by October
Morgan Stanley – All employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1
Netflix – Anyone working in or visiting the company’s offices must be vaccinated
Northwestern Mutual – All office workers must be vaccinated with exemptions for medical or religious reason
Norwegian Cruise Line – All crew and passengers must be vaccinated at least two weeks before boarding
Pfizer – All U.S. employees and contractors must be vaccinated or undergo weekly Covid-19 testing
Politico – All employees must be vaccinated
Saks Fifth Avenue – All office employees must be vaccinated
Salesforce – All office workers must be vaccinated
The New York Times – All office workers must be vaccinated
The Washington Post – All employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 13
TJX – Only Home and Regional Office Associates must be vaccinated by Nov. 1 with medical and religious exemptions
Twitter – All office workers in San Francisco and New York must be vaccinated
Tyson Foods – All U.S. employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1 and other staffers by Nov. 1 with medical and religious exemptions
Uber – All office workers must be vaccinated
United Airlines – All U.S. employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 25 with medical and religious exemptions
UPS – All headquarters and office building employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 1
Walgreens – All workers in support offices must be vaccinated by Sept. 30 or undergo weekly Covid-19 testing
Walmart – All staff at its headquarters and managers traveling within the U.S. must be vaccinated by Oct. 4, with medical and religious exemptions
Walt Disney parks – All on-site salaried and non-union employees must be vaccinated. Union employees have until Oct. 22 with medical and religious exemptions