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A hot potato: Apple is reportedly going a step further than those companies requiring employees to get a Covid vaccine by telling its store and corporate workers that they need booster shots, too. The alternative is taking frequent Covid tests before entering premises belonging to Apple or its partners.
The Verge writes that once an Apple employee is eligible for a booster shot, they will have four weeks to get one. Failing to comply will mean the workers have to take frequent tests to enter a retail store, partner store, or Apple office starting February 15th.
“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” Apple states in an internal email seen by the publication.
Apple vaccination rules don’t go as far as some other companies. It is one of the few tech firms that doesn’t make vaccinations mandatory for staff; unvaccinated corporate employees have to take daily tests, while unvaccinated retail workers must test twice per week. It had required vaccinated employees to submit once-weekly Covid tests but later reduced the frequency of these tests.
In contrast to Apple, Google has told its unvaccinated employees (without exemption status) that they could lose pay and even their jobs, but it has not yet made booster shot mandatory, while Facebook parent Meta is making boosters mandatory for those returning to the office. We had heard that Intel’s unvaccinated employees also faced unpaid leave, though the company seems to have backtracked, emphasizing in its recently updated Covid policy that it “does not require that its workforce obtain the COVID-19 vaccination.”