Delta Air Lines employee vaccination rate rises to 90% as federal mandate approaches

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  • Delta says that about 90% of its approximately 80,000 employees are vaccinated.
  • The Atlanta-based airline plans to charge $200 more per month for health care starting next month.
  • Rival American Southwest is making vaccines mandatory for federal contractors under a Biden administration rule.

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Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that 90% of the company’s roughly 80,000 employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19, a $200 monthly insurance surcharge imposed by the company on employees who haven’t received shots.

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Ed Bastian, the CEO of the Atlanta-based airline, said earlier this month that about 85% of its employees had been vaccinated.

The latest tally, revealed in its quarterly earnings release, comes as airlines grapple with Biden administration rules requiring employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID unless they have a valid religious or medical reason for exemption. Can’t show

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American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines, which are federal contractors like Delta because they fly government employees and provide other services, have told employees in recent weeks that they will comply with mandates and keep employees. Vaccinations are needed to continue working there, unless they are exempt. This means employees need to be fully vaccinated by December 8.

Delta has not yet issued any such requirement to employees.

United Airlines issued its own company mandate in August, threatening to fire people who didn’t get vaccinated by September 27. More than 96% of its US employees are now vaccinated, it said.

On Tuesday, Texas-based carriers American and Southwest said they hoped the federal vaccine mandate would override a Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who stops businesses and others from mandating the vaccine for employees.

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