Three thousand United Airlines employees are currently positive for COVID-19, but the company’s vaccine mandate is saving lives, according to its CEO.
United CEO Scott Kirby addressed the airline’s vaccine requirement, put in place in September, in an open letter to employees on Tuesday while thanking them for their “tremendous effort” amid the Omicron surge and the cancellation of flights due to employee shortages and winter weather.
“While we have about 3,000 employees who are currently positive for COVID, zero of our vaccinated employees are currently hospitalized,” Kirby wrote. “Since our vaccine policy went into effect, the hospitalization rate among our employees has been 100x lower than the general population in the U.S.”
For eight weeks, the company has had 0 COVID-related deaths among its vaccinated workers.
Prior to the vaccine mandate, “tragically, more than one United employee on average *per week* was dying from COVID,” Kirby said in the letter. “That means there are approximately 8-10 United employees who are alive today because of our vaccine requirement,” he adds.
Kirby revealed that while there may be some pushback against the vaccine mandate, the numbers show that at United it is working in reducing serious illness from COVID — and that’s what’s important.