Cutting across industries such as financial services, e-commerce, and big techs like Facebook and Google, multinational corporations have begun to require vaccinations for employees returning to the office in the wake of the surge in the Covid-19 delta variant cases and the emergence of the new Delta plus variant.
Regarded as highly contagious, the Delta variant which has so far been detected in Nigeria, India and about 96 other countries, has killed hundreds of thousands of people in India and is fast becoming the dominant variant around the world according to a NatGeo report.
In July, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported about 186 delta variant cases. Public health experts noted that the variant may trigger dramatic rises in cases and deaths in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the new Delta Plus variant which slightly differs from the Delta Variant is a strain predominant in India and the United Kingdom. The Delta Plus variant began appearing in global databases after mid-March, and by April 26 cases were found in England, prompting the United Kingdom to ban international travel on June 4. However, several patients with no history of travel or contact with travelers got infected with Delta Plus, which suggests the variant had begun to circulate in the U.K.
Tech giant, Google became the first Big Tech company to announce that it will require employees who work in its offices to be fully vaccinated. Although it is currently unclear how the company intends to enforce this policy, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai announced that the policy would roll out in the United States in the coming weeks and in other countries in the following months.
Facebook followed suit by announcing a similar policy which requires all in-person staffs to get vaccinated before coming into a Facebook office.
Lori Goler, Facebook’s VP of people, said in a statement: “As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”
Citing new data on the Delta variant, social networking platform, Twitter shut its New York City and San Francisco offices stating that the decision was made after the Center for Diseases Control (CDC) issued a warning regarding the surge in Covid cases.
Other companies requiring proof of vaccination from their staffs include Netflix, Walmart, Uber, Disney, Delta Airline, and Morgan Stanley.
Investment Banking Company, Goldman Sachs is currently requiring its employees to report their vaccine status to the company. According to a report provided by CNN, Goldman employees who fail to get tested will have their ID cards declined. Unvaccinated employees are required to get a rapid Covid-19 test on site at the company’s headquarters and will be tested regularly.