Delta Air Lines is preparing to take an “aggressive” approach to vaccinate its own employees against COVID-19 with staffers based in Georgia and who aged 65 and over set to get jabbed within days. The Atlanta-based airline will be transforming part of Concourse C at Hartfield International Airport into a mass vaccination center according to AJC. The Delta Flight Museum will also be used to deliver jabs to eligible employees.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has drawn up its own guidelines for how COVID-19 vaccines should be distributed, individual states can determine their own priority groups and manage the vaccine rollout. In Georgia, adults over the age of 65, as well as healthcare workers, law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders are currently eligible to receive the vaccine.
Although Georgia has set up its own vaccination centers, Delta has partnered with a healthcare provider to give employees access to the vaccine in a work setting. Vaccinations are currently scheduled to run from February 8 through February 14.
The airline said it hoped to expand in-house vaccinations to other employees as soon as they become eligible. Delta is also looking to partner with healthcare providers in other states to rollout vaccines to even more partners. No other locations have yet been announced.
Less than 700 Delta staffers have so far received a COVID-19 vaccination, the airline’s chief executive Ed Bastian revealed in a recent memo. The airline employs approximately 75,000 employees worldwide.
David Garrison, Delta’s vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance said the airline “is going to take a very aggressive vaccine approach”. Bastian has previously urged employees to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. Both men believe vaccines are now key to reopening the air travel sector.
In a Congressional hearing earlier this week, flight attendant union leader Sara Nelson urged the federal government to open mass vaccination centers in airports across the United States so that flight attendants, pilots and other frontline workers could get easy access to vaccines.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) has urged states to give priority access to the vaccine to frontline aviation workers. Bastian is also lobbying federal and local government to prioritize airline workers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.