America’s Big Businesses they begin to demand the vaccine from their workers against the coronavirus, in some cases moving from the incentive to the mandatory in view of the rebound in cases that threatens to hinder its reopening.
Harassed by the increase in coronavirus cases in the country, where there are already about 100,000 infections dailyMany companies are enforcing vaccination standards for their employees following the example of the federal and other state and local administrations.
Public employees and healthcare workers in states like New York have been the first to receive weekly testing or virus vaccine requirements, and now those mandates reach the private sector, which has avoided imposing measures of this type for months.
With half the American population fully vaccinated, there are still more than 90 million people eligible who have not received any puncture and time is running out with the spread of more transmissible variants that could circumvent the effectiveness of the available preparations.
Walmart does not require the vaccine for its store employees.
An expert on the subject, former US ambassador Neil Parsan, director of the firm Parsan Cross Global Strategic Advisors and advisor to several international organizations, said in statements to Efe that the orders “will have a positive impact on vaccination rates”.
“The orders to get vaccinated are legal, ethical and effective. They save lives. It can be difficult to order them federally, but the private sector can do it, since there is precedent, “explained Parsan, who considered them the best way to reach” apathetic “people.
More and less strict
Between companies more strict there is United Airlines, which this week ordered its staff of 67,000 workers in the US to provide proof of complete immunization at the latest in late October, with exceptions for health or religion.
Similarly, the meat processor Tyson Foods, with 120,000 employees and less than 50% immunized after months of effort, has also told its workers that they must be vaccinated before November 1 as a “condition of employment.”
Most corporations have been more flexible so far and they are only requiring the vaccine to a part of their staff, generally those who go to the office, and opting for incentives, from bonuses or days off, something that experts continue to consider important.
For example, the department store chain Walmart, which is the largest employer in the US with 1.5 million employees, requires it only for those who come to its corporate offices but not for your store workers.
United Airlines will require vaccination of its 67,000 employees. AFP photo
Some large banks, including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have demanded the vaccine as a requirement to go to the office but have different approaches for those who do not or does not want to disclose their status, from allowing them to enter wearing a mask to relegating them to remote work.
Risk of dismissal
The risk of being fired if you don’t get tested for the virus vaccine raise a debate which has already been transferred to the legal sphere in some cases, with the most notable case being the complaint filed by more than a hundred workers against the Houston Methodist Hospital.
The court gave reason to the hospital for demanding the vaccine to its workers, who argued that the available preparations do not yet have the full authorization of the regulators, but an emergency authorization, and doubted their safety.
That final green light could come in early September for Pfizer-BioNTech and then Moderna, the makers of the most widely distributed vaccines, so thereafter more companies are likely to impose orders on their workforces.
The first consequences of these security policies are also beginning to be seen. “zero tolerance”, with the dismissal of three CNN employees who came to the office without a covid vaccine, according to what emerged this week.
Parsan recognized that there is a certain skepticism hidden between medical or religious arguments, so he advocated for “educate the population with facts and science as best as possible” and considered it crucial to combat misinformation, also recognizing the damage of the “politicization of covid-19 and the subsequent ideological polarization.”
“Many companies they are also begging to reopen. It is a balance between lives and ways of life. It should be allowed to happen with the added responsibility moving from public oversight by the state to the private sector taking much more responsibility for its staff and clients, “he added.