Kraft Heinz to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for office employees

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A Heinz Ketchup bottle sits between a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese and a bottle of Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce on a grocery store shelf in New York March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

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Aug 27 (Reuters) - Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O) said on Friday all U.S. employees will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to offices in January, as the fast-spreading Delta variant batters the United States.

The packaged-food maker's announcement comes days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc (PFE.N)/BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) vaccine, a certification that public health officials hope will convince unvaccinated Americans that the shot is safe and effective. (https://reut.rs/3jmYE26)

The resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States and new regulatory guidance have led companies to change their plans on vaccinations and masking. read more

For now, Kraft'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 also said its offices, including the Aon headquarters in Chicago, would open in September on a voluntary basis to vaccinated employees.

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Reporting by Sahil Shaw in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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