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Delta Air Lines announced on Wednesday that employees who choose not to be vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly testing and incur a $200/month health insurance surcharge.
Earlier this month, the FDA gave full approval to Pfizer's vaccine. With the majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occurring among those who are unvaccinated, many companies across the country have begun taking it upon themselves to require employees to get the jab.
While Delta Air Lines has not instituted a vaccine mandate, CEO Ed Bastian made it clear that the company's goal is to encourage vaccinations. In a memo released Wednesday, Bastian announced a series of changes to Delta's policies.
"Beginning Nov. 1," he said, "unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge." Bastian justified this decision by pointing out that in recent weeks, "all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated," and that "the average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person."
Bastian also noted that as of September 30th, only vaccinated employees will be eligible for "COVID pay protection."
According to Bastian, 75% of Delta's workforce is currently vaccinated.