United requiring COVID shot for all employees by late October

Daniel J. Munoz//August 6, 2021

United requiring COVID shot for all employees by late October

Daniel J. Munoz//August 6, 2021

United Airlines is requiring all of its employees to get the COVID-19 shot by October, according to an Aug. 5, company-wide memo, making it the latest large corporation to enact the mandate in response to the surge of new cases among those without the vaccine.

“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” reads the Friday memo to United employees from Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart.

Nonetheless, “the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.”

Those vaccinated by Sept. 20 will get an extra payday, the two executives added.

An estimated 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants have already gotten the jab, United said.

Employees will have until Oct. 25 or five weeks after the Food and Drug Administration fully approves any of the COVID-19 vaccines to be inoculated, whichever comes first. So far, the Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna shots have only received emergency approval.

United, based in Chicago, uses Newark Liberty International Airport as one of its main hubs in the nation.

Minimal mandating

Most employers have not mandated the COVID-19 vaccine.

Companies like Walmart have been among the few to do so, and health care employees and front-line workers are required by state law to get the vaccine by Sept. 7.

In New York City, patrons for indoor dining, gyms and theaters need to show that they’ve gotten the vaccine in order to gain admission.

But, mandates have slowly built up as – in New Jersey and across the nation – hospitalizations and daily cases reach their highest levels since the spring, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.

On Aug. 5, the state logged 1,345 new cases–the highest one-day spike in three months and four times the daily cases on July 1. Meanwhile, the state logged 599 hospitalizations, double what they were on July 1.

As of Aug. 4, the seven-day average was 1,103 cases, compared to a seven-day average on July 9 of 222 cases, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.