Twitter is once again shutting its reopened offices in the US after a spike in cases of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the country. Twitter also paused future office re-openings. It had started allowing employees back to its campuses in San Francisco and New York at 50 percent capacity about a fortnight ago after keeping them shut for more than 16 months.
Besides Twitter, other big tech companies including Alphabet’s Google said it would require employees in the United States to be vaccinated for stepping into its campuses, in an effort to get its workers immunised against COVID-19. Google also said on Wednesday it would extend its work-from-home policy through October 18 due to a recent rise in cases caused by the Delta variant across different regions.
Many tech companies including Microsoft Corp and Uber have said they expect employees to return to the office, months after pandemic-induced lockdowns forced them to shift to working remotely.
San Francisco-based ride-hailing company Lyft Inc, which had already made vaccinations mandatory for employees returning to the office, postponed its reopening to February from September.
According to a Deadline report, streaming giant Netflix Inc has also implemented a policy mandating vaccinations for the cast and crew on all its US productions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Apple Inc plans to restore its mask requirement policy at most of its US retail stores, both for customers and staff, even if they are vaccinated, Bloomberg News reported With a spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States due to highly infectious Delta variant, health authorities on Tuesday said Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should go back to wearing masks in indoor public places in regions where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly.[Input from Reuters]