Delta Air Lines employees who have not been vaccinated will soon have to pay a $200 monthly surcharge and take a weekly COVID-19 test.
The new monthly charge will begin on Nov. 1 for all employees enrolled in Delta’s health care plan, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian announced Wednesday.
While 75% of Delta workers are already vaccinated, Bastian said that the cost of treating the deadly virus puts the company at “financial risk.”
“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” Bastian said in the statement. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company. In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated.”
Those who are not vaccinated will also be subject to a weekly COVID-19 test starting next month. Bastian said those who were on the fence about getting the vaccine due to a lack of Food and Drug Administration approval now have no reason not to get the jab.
“I know some of you may be taking a wait-and-see approach or waiting for full FDA approval,” the statement said. “With this week’s announcement that the FDA has granted full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, the time for you to get vaccinated is now. We can be confident that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective, and has undergone the same rigorous review for other approved medications to treat cancer and heart disease, as well as other vaccines.”