• The San Juan Daily Star

Chevron and CVS mandate coronavirus vaccines

By Coral Murphy Marcos and Clifford Krauss

CVS Health and the oil and gas giant Chevron said earlier this week that they would mandate coronavirus vaccines for some employees, joining other large corporations that are making similar demands on office workers.

CVS pharmacists will have until Nov. 30 to be fully vaccinated, while other employees who interact with patients and all corporate staff have until Oct. 31 to comply. The mandate will affect about 100,000 employees, CVS said.

Chevron said its mandate applied to employees who travel internationally and expatriates, as well as the offshore workforce in the Gulf of Mexico and some onshore support personnel, the company said Monday. Chevron is the second-largest oil and gas producer in the United States after Exxon Mobil. It said employees in the Gulf of Mexico would need to be vaccinated by Nov. 1, but it did not share a timeline for other workers.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older, a move that is expected to clear the way for many more mandates. New York City said Monday it would require every employee of the city’s Department of Education — 148,000 people — to be vaccinated, and the Pentagon will demand that 1.3 million active-duty troops receive the shot “no later” than the middle of next month.

President Joe Biden urged corporate leaders Monday to consider vaccine mandates. “Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements” such as frequent testing, he said.

United Airlines recently announced that its employees would be required to show proof of vaccination within five weeks of regulatory approval.

Chevron was the first major U.S. oil producer to announce a requirement. “As part of our fitness-for-duty safety standard, workers in certain jobs are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” a Chevron spokesperson said in an email. “We will continue to carefully monitor the medical data and follow the guidance of health authorities in order to protect our workforce.”

Exxon Mobil does not have a formal mandate on vaccines, but the company is strongly encouraging workers to get vaccinated. A company spokesperson, Casey Norton, said in a statement that Exxon was monitoring public health guidance.

“Given the spread of the delta variant and its impact on unvaccinated individuals, all unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear a face covering in all indoor locations when 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained,” he said. That policy went into effect Aug. 18.

Like Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell encourages vaccination among employees, but it is not mandatory. Employees must comply with local laws requiring vaccination for entering public places or to enter countries.

The news of Chevron’s mandate was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

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