Three thousand United Airlines employees are currently COVID positive, according to an open letter from the company’s CEO, but a company-wide vaccine mandate is saving lives.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby on Tuesday released a open letter to United employees, sharing an update on how the recent spike in omicron cases, which has caused thousands of canceled flights and countless travel disruptions – impacted the global airline. “While we have approximately 3,000 employees who are currently positive for COVID, none of our vaccinated employees are currently hospitalized,” Kirby wrote. “Since our vaccine policy came into effect, the hospitalization rate of our employees is 100 times lower than that of the general population in the United States. «
Kirby said that ahead of United’s vaccine requirement, which the company announced in August and has been blocked by a court decision in November, more than one United employee, on average, died from COVID each week. But even as omicron cases are skyrocketing across the country, the company has not recorded any COVID-related deaths among its vaccinated employees in the past eight consecutive weeks, the CEO noted. “Based on United’s past experience and national data related to COVID deaths among the unvaccinated, this means that there are approximately 8-10 United employees who are alive today due to our vaccine needs, ”he wrote. « While I know some people still disagree with our policy, United are proving that demanding the vaccine is the right thing to do because it saves lives. »
Employees of any airline, whether or not it has enacted its own vaccine mandate, must now be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID tests, thanks to the Biden administration. (The White House adopted a vaccination mandate January 4, which requires all employees of all U.S. companies over 100 to be vaxxed or take weekly COVID tests in order to continue working.)
But not all travelers are required to get the vaccine before boarding a flight. Travel restrictions currently dictate that non-US citizens must be fully immunized before boarding a flight to the United States, but no such requirement exists for Americans to fly within the country, by CNN. (However, you are required to wear a mask on an airplane without eating or drinking, according to federal law.)
According to an analysis of The New York Times. Getting vaccinated (and boosted) remains the best way to protect yourself against hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.