United says 273 employees reported they were vaccinated after the company said they would be fired over the company's strict vaccine mandate

United employee with a vaccination certificate United Airlines
After facing termination, United saw a drop in the number of unvaccinated employees from 593 to 319.

All non-exempt US employees were required to be inoculated before September 27, or they would be fired.

More than 99% of nonexempt employees in the US have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The carrier announced Thursday that nearly half of United Airlines' workers who were not vaccinated have provided proof of vaccination since being terminated.

United has the most stringent employee vaccination policy of any US airline. United announced Wednesday that over 99% of its US workforce (67,000) had been vaccinated against COVID-19. This excludes the 3% (roughly 2,000 employees who applied for religious and medical exemptions, but are still working). According to the airline's August 6 policy, all employees who are not exempt from vaccination must be vaccinated before September 27 or risk being fired.

Only 593 of the employees had been inoculated before the deadline. United also announced that it would start the separation process for non-exempt unvaccinated workers on Thursday. However, since Wednesday's announcement the number of employees who have not been inoculated has fallen to 320, a decline of nearly half.

United states that the reason for the decrease is mainly due to late uploads of vaccination cards by employees. Management expects that the number will drop more once employees are vaccinated.

"Our vaccine policy continues its work. In less than 48 hours, unvaccinated employees have been reduced almost in half. From 593 to 319, the number of employees who started the process of being fired has dropped from 320 to 593. United stated in a statement that 99.5 percent of its U.S. employees are now vaccinated. This excludes those who requested an exemption.

Others airlines in the US have not yet mandated vaccinations for their employees. However, some are offering rewards or punishments to encourage them to get the shot. In August, Delta Air Lines announced that employees who are not vaccinated would have to pay $200 more for their company's health-insurance plan. Southwest offers 16 hours of additional pay for those who are vaccinated. Gary Kelly, Southwest CEO, said that he didn't believe the company would require vaccinations. However, he added that the federal government might implement such requirements.

According to CNBC, Kelly stated to staff that Southwest Airlines might be required by federal law to vaccinate employees.

Business Insider has the original article.

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