Science & Technology

Apple to Reportedly Require Covid-19 Booster Shots for Workers

A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok.

A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok.
Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket (Getty Images)

Apple now considers covid-19 booster shots to be an important element in protecting its workers and will be purportedly requiring employees to show proof that they’ve gotten the additional dose to access its premises, according to an internal email seen by the Verge.

On Saturday, the Verge reported that Apple would be requiring its retail and corporate employees to get a covid-19 booster shot once they are eligible for one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who received Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can get a booster five months after their first two shots. Those who receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are eligible to get boosted two months after vaccination.

As told by the Verge, Apple workers will have four weeks to comply with the company’s booster requirement once they become eligible. If employees don’t get a booster within that time frame, they will be required to take frequent covid-19 tests to enter an Apple Store, partner store, or Apple office beginning on Feb. 15.

“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 stated in the internal email, according to the Verge.

The memo also contained information for unvaccinated employees, which will be required to provide a negative covid-19 rapid antigen test before entering the workplace beginning on Jan. 24. Workers who have not provided proof of vaccination will also have to abide by this testing policy.

Gizmodo reached out to Apple on Sunday to confirm the Verge’s report, but we didn’t hear back by the time of publication. We’ll update this article if someone from the company gets back to us.

If the internal email is accurate, Apple would join Meta, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, in requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees. On Monday, Meta said that employees who are eligible to receive booster shots would need to provide proof of vaccination beginning on March 28 to enter its offices.

“Boosters provide increased protection,” a Meta spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “Given the evidence of booster effectiveness, we are expanding our vaccination requirement to include boosters.”

Google hasn’t disclosed whether it will require its employees to get covid-19 booster shots but did say on Thursday it would require employees and contractors to have a negative covid-19 molecular test—which are generally more accurate and detect the presence of the coronavirus’ genetic material—such as a PCR test to access its offices or facilities. We reached out to Google to ask whether it would be requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees on Sunday but haven’t heard back yet.

Amazon, meanwhile, purportedly isn’t using mandates to get people to get boosted, it’s using what it knows best: money. This past Thursday, the Information reported that Amazon was paying its hourly workers, including its 750,000 U.S. warehouse workers, $40 and offering them an extra (unpaid) day off to get a booster shot.

Gizmodo reached out to Amazon on Sunday to confirm whether this was indeed the case and ask if it planned to require boosters for all employees. We’ll update this article if someone from Amazon gets back to us.

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