United Airlines has announced that it will require all staff and crew to be vaccinated. According to NPR, the airline’s new policy states, “The requirement is that all U.S. domestic employees of the airline be fully vaccinated by Oct. 25, or five weeks from the date that any one vaccine gets full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, whichever comes first.”
Vaccinating passengers and crew in the air industry is crucial now that the airlines have stopped blocking middle seats, which allows for close-contact spread of the newer, more contagious variants of the coronavirus. The WHO states that COVID transmits most easily in crowded spaces, while in close contact, and in enclosed spaces. Being close to someone for extended periods of time also greatly increases the chance of catching the virus. It’s absolutely essential for airlines to be at the forefront of the vaccination movement for the safety of passengers and crew.
United isn’t the only company mandating vaccines. A lot of major US employers have begun implementing vaccine policies, such as Walmart, Tyson Foods, Disney, Microsoft, and Facebook.
In fact, another airline is also following United’s lead and has required staff and crew to be vaccinated. Low-cost carrier, Frontier, based in Denver, made the announcement late last week. According to Reuters via Yahoo! News, Frontier CEO, Barry Biffle, said, “As we continue to watch the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases across the United States caused by the Delta variant, I am concerned for the well-being of our team members, their families and friends.” If Frontier employees refuse vaccination, they will be made to get regular COVID tests.
How long will it be before the airlines require that all passengers show proof of COVID vaccination?