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Delta Air Lines to Add $200 Monthly Health Insurance Charge for Unvaccinated Staff

Reuters reported:

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) on Wednesday said employees will have to pay $200 more every month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan if they choose to not vaccinate against COVID-19.

The move to add a surcharge to health insurance contributions is the latest tactic by corporate America to push employees to get the shots to fight the pandemic.

Washington Public School Requires Student Athletes to Wear Tracking Monitors to Trace COVID

Fox News reported:

A public high school in Washington state is requiring some student-athletes and coaches to wear tracking devices on their wrists to trace COVID-19 during practices.

“It’s just one more thing they’re doing to the kids through this whole covid thing,” father of two students at Eatonville High School, Jason Ostendorf, told The News Tribune. “The vaccine, now be tracked when you’re at practice. Where does this end? I feel like this is an experiment on our kids to see how much we can put them through before they start breaking.”

The high school said that both vaccinated and unvaccinated athletes who play on teams with high contact and moderate indoor contact, such as volleyball, basketball and wrestling, are required to wear the devices. The tracking devices, which were paid for by federal funds, are worn during practice to trace the proximity of one player to others in the event of a positive coronavirus case.

Rutgers Football Player Wants to Transfer to Escape Vaccine Mandate

Washington Examiner reported:

A defensive back for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights will begin the transferral process from the New Jersey school due to its vaccine requirements for students.

Peyton Powell is a former four-star recruit from Texas who initially gave a verbal commitment to Utah and spent a few months with Baylor University. He announced on Twitter he would be leaving Rutgers University and will enter the transfer portal.

Pfizer’s FDA Approval Could Open Floodgates or Corporate Vaccine Mandates

CBS News reported:

The Food and Drug Administration’s clearance of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which had been rolled out to the public for emergency-use only, paves the way for more employers to require that their workers get jabbed.

Although a number of businesses, colleges and other organizations were already requiring workers to be inoculated, many corporations have been hesitant to implement a mandate for a drug not yet fully approved by regulators. Labor attorneys expect Monday’s announcement by the FDA to open the floodgates for mandates across the board.

Parents Get Coached on How to Escape Mask and Vaccine Rules

The Associated Press reported:

An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements.

And Louisiana’s attorney general has posted sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor’s mask rules.

Across the U.S., religious figures, doctors, public officials and other community leaders are trying to help people circumvent COVID-19 precautions.

Zuckerberg Deflects Questions About Vaccine Disinformation on Facebook

The Guardian reported:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg skirted a question on Thursday about coronavirus vaccine disinformation on the social network, choosing to phrase the problem instead as primarily one of “vaccine hesitancy” among the U.S. public.

In an interview with CBS, which was released on Thursday morning, TV anchor Gayle King pressed Zuckerberg to release information on how many people have viewed and shared Facebook posts containing misinformation about the COVID vaccine.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook has removed more than 18m posts containing misinformation from their website, but failed to answer when pressed by King on how many people viewed or shared these posts.

If COVID Vaccine Refusers Are Turned Away at the Hospitals and Doctor Offices, Is That Ethical?

NBC News reported:

Dr. Jason Valentine, a family medicine physician at the Diagnostic and Medical Clinic Infirmary Health in Mobile, Alabama, informed his patients this month that, effective Oct. 1, he would no longer treat those who hadn’t been vaccinated against Covid-19. Around the same time, a leaked memo indicated that the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force was considering whether to take Covid vaccination status into account in deciding who gets ICU beds when more of them are needed than are available.

Can either of these actions be considered ethical? In short, it depends.

Montana Governor Encourages Vaccination, Won’t Mandate It

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported:

Gov. Greg Gianforte encouraged Montanans to get vaccinated during a press conference on Tuesday, but insisted that there would be no mandates — for masks or vaccination — in the state.

Recognizing the increased spread of the delta variant in Montana, Gianforte spoke of the importance for Montana residents to get vaccinated, encouraging people on the fence to consult with their doctor. With the Pfizer vaccine getting fully-approved by the Food and Drug Administration Monday, Gianforte said that the time to get vaccinated is now.

Spain’s Supreme Court Rules Against Using Vaccine Passports to Restrict Access to Public Spaces

Trade for Profit reported:

Spain’s Supreme Court made waves last week by becoming the first judicial authority in Europe to rule against the use of COVID passports to restrict access to public spaces — specifically hospitality businesses (bars, restaurants and nightclubs). It is not the first Spanish court to come out against vaccine passports but it is the most important. So far, only five of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions – the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, Andalusia, Cantabria and Galicia – have proposed using vaccine passports to restrict access to public spaces. And all have been rejected by local judges.

The EU’s Green Pass is a one-piece QR-code document that can be issued to a traveller in both paper and digital format. It is intended to prove that the holder has either received one of the four vaccines authorised by the European Medicine Agency (BioNTech-Pfizer’s, Moderna’s, AztraZeneca’s and Johnson &Johnson’s), has tested negative for Covid-19 in the last 48 hours or has been infected with Covid in the last six months and therefore has natural immunity. However, some countries such as France have chosen only to allow entry to travellers that are fully vaccinated.

Man Gets QR Code Vaccine Passport Tattooed on His Arm

Newsweek reported:

An Italian student has set a new standard when it comes to providing proof of vaccination.

Since Aug. 6, it has been a requirement in Italy for anyone wishing to dine indoors or attend a cultural event to present a “Green Pass” certificate upon entry showing they have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from COVID-19.

Green pass certificates can be presented in either paper or digital form.