The Kraft Heinz Company has said that all its US employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to its offices, as the fast-spreading Delta variant impacts the United States.
The packaged-food maker's announcement comes days after the US Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE vaccine, a certification that public health officials hope will convince unvaccinated Americans that the shot is safe and effective.
A resurgence of coronavirus cases in the United States and new regulatory guidance have led companies to change their plans on vaccinations and masking.
For now, Kraft Heinz's decision to mandate vaccination applies only to its office population, unless they have obtained a health-related or religious accommodation, the company said.
Kraft Heinz also said its offices, including the Aon headquarters in Chicago, would open in September on a voluntary basis to vaccinated employees.
Earlier this month, Kraft Heinz reported a 2.1% decline in organic net sales in the second quarter of its financial year, with its US business seeing a 2.7% decline, and International sales up 0.4%.
The group said that its performance was ahead of expectations, in a period that saw tough comparatives with the corresponding period the previous year.
"Our second quarter results serve as a strong indicator that our Kraft Heinz team will not only deliver a stronger 2021 than we initially anticipated, but will come out of the global pandemic much stronger than we entered,” Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio said at the time. “We continue to drive our transformation program forward, modernising our brands and better connecting with our consumers."