Apple Expands Efforts to Vaccinate Employees, But Doesn’t Mandate Vaccines

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Apple is further pushing its employees in the United States to get vaccinated now that the Food and Drug Administration has officially approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, reports Bloomberg.

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Apple has launched a new internal web page, sent out an employee memo, and is holding internal talks as part of its vaccination campaign.

“Apple is asking everyone who has access to the vaccine and is able to get vaccinated to do so as soon as you can,” the company said in the memo, which was sent to staff Thursday evening. Sumbul Desai, Apple’s vice president of health efforts, and Kristina Raspe, vice president in charge of real estate, are also hosting talks to encourage employees to get the shots.

The webpage Apple has created explains the delta variant and how getting vaccinated can help prevent its spread. Apple is also offering vouchers for employees to get vaccinated through Walgreens, and it is providing on-site vaccinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Apple gives employees paid time off for vaccine appointments and paid sick leave for those who experience side effects.

Apple is not mandating that its employees get vaccinated, which is a departure from other tech companies in the area. Both Google and Facebook are requiring employees to be vaccinated, but according to Bloomberg, Apple has not done so for the sake of employee privacy.

Earlier this month, Apple implemented more frequent testing for corporate and retail employees, asking them to take COVID-19 tests up to three times per week.

Apple initially planned to have employees return to work for three days a week in September, but with cases continuing to ramp up, corporate employees will be able to work from home until at least January 2022.

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