Boeing will require all 125,000 of its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated against covid-19, according to a new statement from the company and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Boeing employees will need to show proof of vaccination by December 8, when President Joe Biden’s executive order for vaccine requirements at government contractors takes effect.
President Biden’s executive order for vaccine mandates requires all government contractors to get their employees vaccinated against covid-19 by December, though people are able to claim medical and religious exemptions. Businesses with more than 100 employees also need to have employees vaccinated, but anyone who refuses can opt instead for regular covid-19 testing.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, government contractors must get their employees vaccinated and there is no option for workers to just get regular testing for covid-19, like employers with more than 100 employees.
As an enormous government contractor, Boeing is clearly bound by President Biden’s executive order from last month, but there’s still some question about how much pushback various companies may give against a federal mandate to get vaccinated. Several Republican Attorneys General have said they’ll fight the president’s order and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed an executive order banning any covid-19 vaccine mandate in the state. Abbott’s order does not apply to any of the other things that Texas school children must be vaccinated for in order to attend classes, but it’s in direct contradiction of the federal order.
It’s not clear what Boeing employees in Texas will be required to do and Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for clarification. Obviously, federal law would override anything passed by the states if there’s a conflict, but we can probably expect plenty of lawsuits over the matter in the coming weeks and months.
Vaccinations have become a political football in the U.S., with Republicans largely against covid-19 vaccination mandates and Democrats largely in favour of them. But we know that vaccinations are the only thing that will allow the world to truly emerge from the pandemic that has fundamentally upturned so many lives for almost two years now.
The U.S. reported 111,707 new cases of covid-19 on Tuesday and 2,541 deaths from the disease, according to the New York Times.