United Airlines says almost all its workers are vaccinated

A United Airlines flight attendant.
(Image credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

United Airlines gave its U.S.-based employees until Sept. 28 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and nearly everyone complied, the company announced on Tuesday.

Out of roughly 67,000 United workers, less than 3 percent applied for health or religious exemptions. About 1 percent declined to get vaccinated, and United is now in the process of terminating those 593 employees.

In a memo to employees, United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart called this "a historic achievement for our airline and our employees as well as for the customers and communities we serve. Our rationale for requiring the vaccine for all United's U.S.-based employees was simple — to keep our people safe — and the truth is this: Everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated, and vaccine requirements work."

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United was the first U.S. carrier to make vaccines a requirement for employees. Hawaiian Airlines is giving its workforce until Nov. 1 to be fully vaccinated, while Frontier Airlines says its employees who aren't vaccinated by Oct. 1 must regularly show proof of a negative coronavirus test. Delta Air Lines has encouraged its workers to get vaccinated, and those who elect not to get the vaccine will have to pay a monthly $200 health insurance surcharge starting Nov. 1.

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