Tyson Foods and Microsoft announced vaccine mandates for their employees on Tuesday, at a time where the Delta variant of coronavirus has signaled a perilous new era of the pandemic.
Due to the severity of Delta’s spread, struggles to convince the hesitant to get vaccinated have now shifted to mandates.
Microsoft said today that any guest, vendor, or employee attempting to enter their buildings will be prompted to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Tyson Foods also announced that vaccinations will be required for all of its employees.
“We did not take this decision lightly, we have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated — today, under half of our team members are,” said Tyson CEO Donnie King.
The wave of Delta variant cases in the United States and across the world has forced companies to reassess their COVID guidelines and come back with more stringent regulations. The CDC, the federal government, major cities and metropolitan areas have all announced new guidelines in the past few weeks.
The CDC officially advises fully vaccinated individuals to wear masks inside if they are in areas that are currently experiencing surges in COVID-19 infections. Major cities like Washington DC and Los Angeles issued similar statements. The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first federal agency to require its employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine last week.
“With more than 300 million doses administered in the United States and nearly 4 billion doses administered worldwide, we know the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, immediate past president of the American Medical Association.
“Increased vaccinations among health care personnel will not only reduce the spread of COVID-19 but also reduce the harmful toll this virus is taking within the health care workforce and those we are striving to serve.”
The transmissibility of the Delta variant is causing companies to introduce vaccine mandates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of new coronavirus cases were up by nearly 70% in just one week, while hospitalizations are up by nearly 36%, after weeks of steeply declining numbers all over the US.
The Delta variant appears to be approximately 225% more transmissible than the original strains of the coronavirus. NPR reports that one recent study from China found that those who are infected with Delta have on average about 1,000 times more copies of the virus in their respiratory tracts than those who were infected with the original strain.
Not only that but they also become infectious earlier in the course of their illness, leading to much more transmission, since many do not realize they have become infected.