Delta Airlines will make employees pay $200 per month if they don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, it’s the most-rigid vaccine mandate seen in the U.S.
The company’s top executive says it comes down to mitigating costs of hospitalization. CEO Ed Bastian said all of the employees that have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in recent weeks were not fully-vaccinated.
This move will save the airline upwards of $40,000 per person, as that is the average cost of hospitalization with COVID-19.
Delta is also going to stop offering extended pay protection to unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 after September 30. Unvaccinated workers will have to be tested weekly, but Delta will cover the cost of that.
United Airlines said it will terminate any employees who do not get vaccinated by September 27.
“This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastian said to employees.
At the moment, 75% of Delta employees are vaccinated. That figure is up just 3% from July, which partly led to the aggressive measures being deployed now, as the Delta Variant runs through the U.S.