Apple imposes a tough COVID vaccine-and-test mandate

Employees must report their vaccination status by Friday. Unvaccinated workers will get daily COVID tests, the vaccinated get them weekly.

From Mark Gurman's "Apple Will Force Unvaccinated Office Workers to Get Tested Daily" posted Thursday by Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. will begin to force unvaccinated corporate employees to test for Covid-19 each time they want to enter an office, a move that tightens its virus protocols while still stopping short of a vaccine mandate.

The new requirement will also apply to employees who decline to report their vaccination status to Apple, the company told employees this week. Vaccinated staff will be required to take rapid tests once per week.

Apple retail store employees, meanwhile, will have slightly different rules. Unvaccinated staff will be asked to test twice per week instead of each day they come to work. Vaccinated workers will also need to take a rapid test each week.

The company hasn’t been as aggressive as some of its technology peers in pushing workers to get immunized, but upcoming deadlines could change the situation.

My take: Finally.

See also: Dear Tim Cook: Why isn’t Apple on this list?

8 Comments

  1. Brian Loftus said:
    I hope Apple keeps good stats and is transparent because this is not going to work. If they spared no expense, then there is a good chance they are using DNA/RNA sequencers for their testing and they can do enhanced contact tracing.

    Take together the CDC data that the mutated virus is as contagious as the chicken pox and assuming the vaccine is 60% effective (probably going down over time) – then everyone who has not been previously infected and 40% of those that were infected by the first Covid strain and not vaccinated and 40% of those that are vaccinated with 2 shots are going to probably (i.e. more likely than not) get the delta variant this winter unless you are operating with a high degree of social distancing. By social distancing I mean Stay at Home – not the 6 feet.

    Weekly testing is way too infrequent to keep the outbreak from occurring. Infected vaccinated workers are going to spread the virus to others. The Vaccine will protect from death (95%) is the claims but those numbers are less for those that are infected (i.e. it is not 95% of the 40% who get infected but 95% of the total cohort).

    What their testing will do is make the risk of getting Covid while at work less than your chance of getting Covid while not at work.

    3
    October 21, 2021
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Well written, but I’m confused. Are you advocating not testing or getting vaccinated, or that it’s a wasted effort?

      0
      October 21, 2021
      • Brian Loftus said:
        So it is clear – please get vaccinated. For adults, vaccines save lives. For teens and younger – data is less clear (many Nordic countries, UK and others are not vaccinating children). If you are over 50 or otherwise at high risk and you get Covid – please run and get Monoclonal antibody treatment against Covid AS SOON AS YOU GET SYMPTOMS. Do not wait to see how sick you will get. This saves lives as well.
        Once needing hospitalization – steroids in the appropriate patients saves lives. That is all we have today (maybe another oral for early disease soon).

        My point is weekly testing of the vaccinated is not going to prevent outbreaks between vaccinated patients who get Covid and do not have symptoms will infect other vaccinated folks (and unvaccinated folks who never had covid and some how have).

        1
        October 21, 2021
        • Rodney Avilla said:
          “please run and get Monoclonal antibody treatment against Covid AS SOON AS YOU GET SYMPTOMS”

          Not aware of ANY pharmacy that has them to give out with a Rx. Only available at hospitals, unless there has been major changes I’m not aware of. And hospitals only give them to patients who are very sick due to supply.

          0
          October 21, 2021
          • Bart Yee said:
            Monoclonal antibody treatment is a single infusion of COVID Spike protein specific antibodies so this would not be stocked at any typical retail pharmacy. It needs to be given under doctors’ orders and supervision in a monitored setting in an infusion center, which can be an outpatient center similar to a cancer treatment or dialysis center.

            The article below from Houston Methodist Hospital details eligibility and at risk population. Note the treatment works best as early as possible from known positive test or exposure, even before symptoms appear. This statement though bears repeating:
            “This therapy can be extremely effective, but it’s not a replacement for vaccination. The community still needs to step up and get vaccinated to break the virus’ chain of transmission.”

            “ FDA extended the potential application of monoclonal antibody therapy for preventive use in those at risk due to a confirmed exposure to the virus. The authorization was based on the results of a large clinical trial that found the antibodies prevented symptoms in household contacts of people who recently tested positive. The FDA stressed that the therapy is not a substitute for vaccination, however.”

            IME, these antibodies are synthesized in a lab production environment and are similar to antibodies produced in the body when vaccination occurs. The cost for the Regeneron treatment covered by the government (that’s us) is about $2100, excluding any copays or administration costs charged to the patient or their healthcare. The cost of a vaccine series is about $40. Some claim vaccines are being pushed by Big Pharma to enrich themselves. Regeneron is a $57B company so I think they could be considered Big Pharma too.

            As far as I know, the government has reasonable supply of MC antibodies for use in proper facilities and eligible patients, but again, vaccination to prevent or mitigate infection and infection spread is more preventative and cost effective than treating with MC antibodies after known positive infection or exposure.

            0
            October 22, 2021
  2. Hugh Lovell said:
    Retail employees should be 100% vaccinated because of their constant contact with the public, and to protect their colleagues. There should be no unvaccinated staff in any Apple Retail store.

    4
    October 21, 2021

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