Corporations split over whether to impose vaccine mandates or offer incentives

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Credit: SomeMeans/iStock
Credit: SomeMeans/iStock

Business leaders broadly agree they need to get more workers vaccinated to keep the U.S. economy humming in the face of the fast-spreading Delta variant.

But they’re split over how best to do that. Some are dangling bigger bonuses or other incentives to cajole employees into getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Others have started requiring workers get the shot.

In recent days, companies from Arkansas-based Walmart to Microsoft in Seattle have imposed vaccine mandates mostly on white-collar workers returning to offices. Meatpacker Tyson Foods Inc. on [August 3] took a harder line, saying all its workers must get the vaccine by Nov. 1.

“We did not take this decision lightly,” Donnie King, Tyson’s chief executive, wrote in a memo to the company’s roughly 120,000 U.S. employees. “We have spent months encouraging our team members to get vaccinated—today, under half of our team members are.”

Both strategies come with risks for employers, their workers and their customers, and both could shape the course of the pandemic.

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Most companies say they will allow for health and religious exemptions, and some are still determining how they will respond to workers who do not comply.

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Related article:  ‘We don’t need to work with BioNTech’: After a successful COVID vaccine collaboration, Pfizer plans on tackling other diseases with mRNA technology alone
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