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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

United Airlines will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 25 or risk being fired, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: It's the first major U.S. airline to impose a vaccine mandate, in a move that will likely increase pressure on its competitors to do the same.

  • Employees must upload proof of vaccination five weeks after the FDA offers full approval to the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, or by Oct. 25 — whichever comes first, according to CNBC.
  • Exemptions will be made for religious or health reasons.

The big picture: United is the latest in a string of corporate giants to announce a vaccine mandate, joining Tyson Foods, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Walmart and others.

The other side: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told the New York Times' Kara Swisher that the company will offer incentives for employees to get vaccinated — such as an extra day of vacation and a $50 gift card — but does not plan on imposing mandates on either employees or customers.

What they're saying: “We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said in a letter to employees.

  • "But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated," they continued.
  • "Over the last 16 months, Scott has sent dozens of condolences letters to the family members of United employees who have died from COVID-19. We’re determined to do everything we can to try to keep another United family from receiving that letter."

Go deeper

Southwest opens a loophole in its vaccination policy

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines is dropping its plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they haven’t received a religious or medical exemption by the Dec. 8 federal deadline.

Driving the news: Employees will be able to continue working if they follow mask and distancing guidelines until their exemption request has been reviewed, per a staff memo first reported by CNBC.

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson registered $502 million of global revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine in the third quarter, bringing year-to-date vaccine sales to $766 million.

The big picture: J&J, which is selling the vaccine at a not-for-profit price of $7.50 per dose, still expects to generate $2.5 billion of COVID vaccine sales this year, executives said Tuesday. But that total will still dwarf the use and sales of the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court declines to block Maine health care workers vaccine mandate

A Maine health care worker prepares vaccine dose. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers.

The big picture: The mandate, which was announced in August by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, says that Maine health care workers need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs and not qualifying for unemployment benefits.

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