We don’t wade into pandemic talk too often here at AirlineReporter. This place is our escape from pandemic-related troubles, and we hope it is for you all too. But every once in a while our radar picks up a news update that’s hard to ignore.

United made big waves last year by being the largest major airline to mandate vaccination for all its employees. My day job as a hospital-based medical resident in New York City has shown me firsthand how powerful vaccination can be in saving lives. So consider me very pro-vaccination. Still I imagine it isn’t easy for leaders of large organizations to impose mandates, even when they’re confident it’s the right thing to do.

Earlier this month United CEO Scott Kirby published a letter to United employees for the New Year. In it, he mentioned that thanks in large part to the vaccine mandate, the company has zero employees admitted to a hospital with COVID, despite 3,000 employees currently positive for the virus. That was compared to the pre-mandate days, when more than one employee a week was dying, not to mention the others who were in the hospital with severe infections. It’s a huge win for employees’ health, and also for the airline’s passengers in terms of reduction in viral exposure.

Plastering chairs with bleach may help fight COVID a bit … but vaccination helps more – Photo: United CleanPlus

I can’t imagine a more powerful data point to support vaccination in the air travel workforce. As someone who has seen a lot of people die of the virus right in front of me, I’m grateful to United and any other airline that makes bold choices for the sake of health and safety. And my particular thanks to the airline employees and other workers getting vaccinated and keeping our air travel infrastructure going during these crazy times. Hopefully thanks to public health measures like vaccination, I’m more likely to see you in the skies than in my hospital.

We welcome you to share thoughts in the comments section below. Please keep things civil. Debate about employee vaccination mandates is reasonable as part of a free discourse, but do not post frank pseudoscience.

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - NEW YORK, NY. Manu is an avid air traveler, private pilot, and a dedicated AvGeek. He enjoys writing about aviation from a millennial's perspective, and co-manages AirlineReporter's social media and video projects. His day job is as a doctor in NYC.

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What a lot of trash.
Can we ask that you refrain from publishing govit articles, please. there is so much differences, let each decide what he/she want to do.

Ignore ^^

Very well said, and a very interesting, large-scale test case with positive results! As a biological scientist myself I completely agree with you.

I agree with Andrew and thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate and value what you say and thank you for serving to help heal our society as medical provider. It is disappointing to this reader when hearing from those, like THREETRADE, who express an opinion that makes me think about those who said the earth was square instead of round. It is unfortunate that THREETRADE appears unwilling to hear from those who speak their truth about this issue, which happens to be the reality. It is people like THREETRADE who harbor beliefs that hurt those of us that want our country to succeed and to get our way life back to where it once was. Reality, over 800,000 people in our country, so far, have died from this issue. When asking someone like THREETRADE how they rationalize waking up one morning and finding everyone dead in cities with polulations less than 800,000, they usually ignore the question or shift to another subject. Those of us who live in reality, cannot imagine the horror of everyone dead in incorporated cities like Seattle, Denver, Washington DC, Nashville, Oklahoma City, El Paso, Boston, Portland, Las Vegas, Detroit, Memphis, Louisville, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and the list goes on, all under 800,000. There is a state whose motto is “United we stand, Divided we fall.” If TREETRADE’s objective is to further divide our nation, then the opinion shared will work to that goal. This reader says thank you to Manu for sharing the good news that one can only hope will unite us.

“Vaccinations” (which are at BEST therapeutics) are good for high or elevated risk people. For example, those over 70 years old and also those with significant comorbidities (especially diabetes).

For the rest of us, covid has essentially zero chance of killing you. This is particularly true of children. In fact, more children have died from the jab than have died from covid. Just check the CDC if you need a reference.

I appreciate this informed view and recognizing an airline that took this step. I wish it weren’t needed. But it works in keeping people relatively safe. And because I care about people, I care about that.

This is the most anti-science statement ever. Go to the CDC website – look at the dominance of the Omicron variant (99.994%) and you’ll have your answer why there’s no hospitalizations. The current vaccine doesn’t even target the Omicron variant, this is from Pfizer and the CDC.

But garbage conformists like Kirby will march along. Later they’ll justify their failures.

@Andrew all of your sources linked are jokes. Complete jokes.

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