United Airlines says that 97% of its U.S. employees have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The announcement, put forth in a missive from United to employees on Wednesday, comes five days before United’s deadline for staff to have received at least one vaccine dose.
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The 97% statistic, United said, doesn’t account for the “small number of people who have sought an exemption.” United is only exempting employees on religious and medical grounds, and the carrier says that accommodation process is “very narrow.” Any other unvaccinated employee will be let go.
Employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31. United told staff that it will begin the separation process as soon as Sept. 28 for those who haven’t gotten their first vaccine dose.
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“While we continue to be encouraged by the outpouring of support and appreciation that we’ve received from employees, we know the decision to get vaccinated was a difficult one for some,” the letter says. “But we also know that everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated. And vaccine requirements work.”
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