Delta Air Lines’s chief health officer said that some 4,000 unvaccinated employees got a CCP virus vaccine after the firm announced it would add a $200-per-month surcharge on its health care plan for workers who aren’t vaccinated.
Henry Ting, the Delta executive, said that about 20 percent of 20,000 Delta employees moved to be inoculated following a late August announcement from CEO Ed Bastian about the surcharge. Ting also claimed the firm hasn’t experienced any significant resignations over the policy.
“Just within the two weeks of the announcement, we’ve seen nearly 20 percent, or one-fifth, of that 20,000 decide to get the vaccine,” he said during a media briefing with the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Ting said that before the announcement, about 74 percent of Delta workers were vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19. The number is now about 78 percent, he said.
“That last 4 percent is very different from the first 4 percent,” Ting said.
On Aug. 25, Bastian wrote in a memo that the extra charge, which is slated to take effect on Nov. 1—comes in response to costs for workers’ COVID-19 hospitalization.
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” Bastian wrote. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”
Bastian, like other executives and health officials, said the COVID-19 policy change is due to the rise of Delta variant COVID-19 cases. He also said that the company wants to have about 100 percent of its workforce vaccinated.
Earlier this year, Delta announced it would require new employees to receive the vaccine unless they qualify for an exemption.
Several top airlines including American and Southwest have said they’re encouraging—but not mandating—employees to receive the vaccine.
An American Airlines spokesperson told The Epoch Times in August that they’re offering incentives and an additional day off if workers get the vaccine.
But United Airlines said that employees who have been given medical or religious exemption from taking the vaccine will be automatically placed on unpaid leave.
“Given our focus on safety and the steep increases in COVID infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, all employees whose request is approved will be placed on temporary, unpaid personal leave on October 2 while specific safety measures for unvaccinated employees are instituted,” United told workers in memos that were obtained by The Epoch Times.
The memo further stipulated that United “can no longer allow unvaccinated people back into the workplace” because it cannot be certain how such individuals would interact with customers or coworkers. It came after the company told workers in August that employees would have to get vaccinated unless they received a religious or medical exemption.