November 2020, people walk past Pfizer’s New York headquarters.
Hit by Betancur | AFP | Getty Images
Pfizer said on Wednesday all of its U.S. employees and contractors must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have regular weekly tests.
The new initiative will “best protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the communities we serve,” Pfizer spokeswoman Pamela Eisele said in a statement to CNBC.
“Outside the US, the company strongly encourages all colleagues who can do this in their countries to get vaccinated,” added Eisele. “Colleagues with illnesses or religious objections can look for accommodation. Colleagues must continue to follow all federal, local, and Pfizer security procedures related to COVID-19 while at Pfizer. “
Pfizer, whose Covid vaccine was first approved in the US with German drug maker BioNTech, is just the youngest company to require its employees to be vaccinated. The mandates come again as coronavirus cases in the USA, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant.
On Tuesday, New York City became the first major city in the United States to require proof of vaccination in restaurants, gyms, and other businesses.
A new CNBC All-America Economic Survey released on Wednesday found Americans are sharply divided over vaccine mandates.
The survey of 802 Americans, conducted July 24-28, found that 49% were in favor of vaccine mandates and 46% were against – a difference that is well within the survey’s margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Five percent said they were not sure.