AstraZeneca has mandated that its U.S.-based employees be vaccinated against the coronavirus if they are returning to the workplace or visiting customers, the company confirmed on Monday.
The drug maker, which has headquarters in Cambridge, England, said the mandate also applied to employees of its Alexion Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, which is based in Boston. Workers can request exemptions for medical, religious or other reasons but will be required to take weekly coronavirus tests.
“To safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and communities, we must follow the science,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said in a statement.
AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine has been authorized for use in 87 countries, according to the company’s website, and 913 million doses have been shipped. The vaccine has not been authorized for use in the United States.
Pfizer, an American competitor based in New York, is requiring all of its U.S. employees and contractors to be vaccinated or participate in weekly Covid-19 testing. Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, both of which have vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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