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United Airlines to Require COVID Vaccines for All Employees

United Airlines, El American

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Amid the contagions on account of the Delta variant,United Airlines will require all of its U.S. employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the first airline to take the action.

“For those employees who are already vaccinated, and for those employees who get vaccinated and upload their records to Flying Together before September 20th, we’ll offer an additional day of pay,” United CEO Scott Kirby and United President Brett Hart wrote in a memo to employees.

“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees. But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated,” Kirby and Hart’s memo stresses.

The Chicago-based airline estimates that up to 90 % of its pilots and about 80 % of its flight attendants are already vaccinated.

“Over the last 16 months, Scott has sent dozens of condolences letters to the family members of United employees who have died from COVID-19. We’re determined to do everything we can to try to keep another United family from receiving that letter,” the statement reads according to ABC News.

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The airline has been requiring vaccination to new staff since mid-June. Unvaccinated workers must wear face masks in company offices.

The United Airlines memo also stresses that U.S. employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 25 or five weeks after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants full approval for any vaccine, whichever comes first.

So far, the FDA has only granted emergency use approval for Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Full approval is expected soon.

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