Southwest Announces Compulsory Vaccination For Employees; says federal regulation is the reason – KIRO 7 News Seattle

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Southwest Airlines on Monday told its 54,000+ employees that they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8th.

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Southwest said the vaccine mandate came into effect due to new rules from the Biden administration.

Southwest contracts with the federal government and new vaccination mandate regulations extend to federal contractors.

Southwest’s work for the government includes flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service, The Associated Press reported.

The company set the deadline for December 8, but also said employees can request that they refuse the shot for medical or religious reasons.

Southwest is the newest airline to require its employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Last week Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue told their employees they needed to be vaccinated or fired.

Delta Air Lines said Monday it would continue to require weekly testing for unvaccinated people. Almost 84% of the airline’s employees are vaccinated, according to the airline.

“Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government‘s COVID-19 vaccination policy,” said Gary Kelly, chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines.

“I encourage all Southwest employees to comply with the federal policy as soon as possible because we value each individual and want to ensure job security for all.”


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