American Airlines told employees they won’t plan to require them to get vaccinated although they’ll encourage them to do so.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, on the other hand, wants to require it for his employees and thinks others should follow his lead.
The worst thing that I believe I will ever do in my career is the letters that I have written to the surviving family members of coworkers that we have lost to the coronavirus,” CEO Scott Kirby said at an employee town hall on Thursday, a transcript of which was reviewed by CNBC. “And so, for me, because I have confidence in the safety of the vaccine – and I recognize it’s controversial – I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require the vaccines and to make them mandatory.”
…“I don’t think United will get away with and can realistically be the only company that requires vaccines and makes them mandatory,” he said. “We need some others. We need some others to show leadership. Particularly in the healthcare industry.”
By the time vaccine available is sufficiently widespread where it would be practical to require it, both for airline employees and potentially passengers, enough people will likely have been vaccinated so that the pandemic is controlled.
The most accurate prediction site so far on Covid-19. Its current projection is for March to see half of current infections, and May to be at 10% of the current rate. That’s a result both of continued virus spread and vaccination. The expectation is that we reach herd immunity from this combination by July. Those assumptions could change to the extent that even more transmissible mutations of the virus take over (raising the percentage of the population needing immunity) or allow for re-infection.