Pfizer will require U.S. employees to get Covid vaccine or undergo weekly testing

People walk by the Pfizer world headquarters in New York on November 9, 2020.

Kena Betancur | AFP | Getty Images

Pfizer said Wednesday it will require all its U.S. employees and contractors to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or participate in regular weekly testing.

The new initiative will “best protect the health and safety of our colleagues and the communities we serve,” Pfizer spokesperson Pamela Eisele said in a statement to CNBC.

“Outside the U.S., the company is strongly encouraging all colleagues who are able to do so in their countries get vaccinated,” Eisele added. “Colleagues who have medical conditions or religious objections will be able to seek accommodations. Colleagues are still required to adhere to all COVID-19 state, local and Pfizer safety procedures while engaged in Pfizer work.”

Pfizer, whose Covid vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech was the first to be authorized in the United States, is just the latest company to require its employees to get the shots. The mandates come as coronavirus cases in the U.S. spike once again, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.

On Tuesday, New York City became the first major city in the U.S. to require proof of vaccination at restaurants, gyms and other businesses.

A new CNBC All-America Economic Survey published Wednesday found Americans are sharply divided over vaccine mandates.

The poll of 802 Americans taken from July 24-28 found 49% favoring vaccine mandates and 46% opposing — a difference that’s within the survey’s 3.5 percentage point margin of error. Five percent said they were unsure.

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