Companies are quietly dropping vaccine mandates

Some companies are quietly dropping COVID vaccine mandates, signaling a new phase of the so-called pandemic that has become more relaxed. In addition, employers are desperate to get people back to the office. The case for mandating dangerous experimental COVID injections is weak because people who took COVID shots were still diagnosed with COVID, indicating that it does not block people from getting sick or spreading illness.

Some companies are rolling back mandates for employee COVID vaccination — but few are making official public statements about it.

Why it matters: These moves signal that we’ve shifted into a new chapter of the pandemic — and that employers are desperate to get people back to the office.

  • Employers are trying to reduce any barriers to entry for new hires, says Erin Grau, co-founder of Charter, a media and services company focused on the future of work, who’s hearing from executives who are dropping their mandates.
  • The requirements are also expensive and time-consuming for employers — another reason to stop, she adds.

What’s happening: “[Companies] decided that the rationale for [mandates] had become weak enough that they don’t want to continue,” Jeff Levin-Scherz, population health leader at Willis Towers Watson, tells Axios.

  • Yes, but: There’s a risk that dropping these requirements would make some workers less willing to mingle with their colleagues — for fear of becoming sick.

Companies mostly don’t want to talk about this, seeing little upside given the controversial history of mandates. But a few large employers’ plans are public:

  • Starting this week, Goldman Sachs lifted vaccination requirements everywhere but New York City, where it still has a mandate for workplaces.
  • “With many tools including vaccination, improved treatments and testing now available, there is significantly less risk of severe illness,” Goldman told employees in a memo announcing the change, obtained by Axios.
  • In June, Cisco stopped requiring vaccination for “office entry, travel, event attendance, or visiting customers, partners, and other third parties,” per its website.
  • JPMorgan Chase said it would start hiring unvaccinated individuals again back in March.

Zoom out: The White House yesterday called on businesses to take certain actions to protect employees and customers from COVID-19 this fall. Mandates weren’t on the list.

Read full article at Axios.

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