White House pushes U.S. airlines to vaccinate for staff by December.

The White House is pressing major U.S. airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees by Dec. 8 – the deadline for federal contractors to do so – and is showing no signs of pushing back the date, four sources told Reuters on Friday.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zients spoke to the chief executives of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines on Thursday to ensure they were working expeditiously to develop and enforce vaccine requirements ahead of that deadline, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

See also: American Airlines and IndiGo announce codeshare agreement.

Large U.S. airlines have a number of federal contracts. President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month requiring federal contractors to mandate COVID-19 shots for employees, with the White House last week setting the Dec. 8 deadline for completing the vaccinations.

Some airline officials had asked the White House to push back the requirements, signed by Biden last month, until after the busy holiday travel season.

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