Facebook Owner to Mandate Covid-19 Vaccine Boosters for Office Workers, Delay Reopening

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Meta platform says it will give employees more time to determine whether they want to work in offices or stay away

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“The boosters provide enhanced security,” a Meta spokesperson said. “Given the evidence of booster effectiveness, we are expanding our vaccination requirement to include boosters.”

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More companies are now enforcing such requirements, or offering workers incentives to receive additional doses.

Bank of America Corp said last week that it would donate $100 to a food bank or hunger-relief organization for every US employee who shows evidence of a booster by the end of January. Executive Officer at Jefferies Financial Group Inc.

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told employees in early December that the company would require everyone entering its offices or attending any of the company’s events to have a booster by January 31, unless they were ineligible to receive one.

Industrial real estate company Prologis Inc.

Recently the US began requiring employees to receive a COVID booster within 30 days of eligibility to receive the shot, unless they have a medical or religious exemption. Meatpacker JBS USA Holdings Inc. and Benchmark Senior Living LLC, an operator of assisted-living facilities, have hosted booster clinics on company sites to make it easier for employees to get another shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t changed the definition of “fully vaccinated,” but in a press briefing last week, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky said the agency is now advising individuals to stay “up to date.” “Once they are eligible for additional doses. For policymakers, changing the definition of what it means to be fully immunized to include boosters would be complicated because it would affect vaccine mandates that have been passed through courts. is being challenged, as previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said last week that health workers in the state would need to receive boosters to better protect against COVID-19. California Gov. Gavin Newsom also said last month that state health workers and staff in high-risk, mass settings would need to receive boosters by February 1.

Meta had planned to fully reopen its US offices in late January. The company had previously told most of its US employees to work remotely if they wish, or to temporarily push back for an additional three to five months.

The latest delay means that many employees at Meta and other white-collar companies will have worked remotely for nearly two years since the World Health Organization’s 2020 pandemic declaration. Many companies had hoped to bring back workers in January, but a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks has forced many employers to reopen offices or indefinitely halt plans to reopen Is. Officials in the corporate landscape have said that once employees get used to working from their homes, it will be difficult to bring people back to offices.

Janelle Gale, Vice President of Human Resources at META, said, “We understand that constant uncertainty makes it difficult to decide where to work, so we are giving them more time to choose what is best for them. Is.”

Bank of America has encouraged employees in its US offices to work remotely in recent weeks amid rising COVID-19 infection rates nationwide. Chief executive Brian Moynihan said in an interview that the decision to bring people back in person would be made largely on a regional basis. “It all depends on the path of the virus,” he said. “We’re basically like week after week.”

at industrial giant Honeywell International Inc.,

Officials are looking at the number of cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations to determine when it may be safe to bring more of their corporate employees back to their US offices. “Until we see that come down, we’re not really going to ask our employees to return to the office,” said company CEO Darius Adamczyk.

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