Hundreds of Google employees sign manifesto opposing vaccination mandate 

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At least 600 Google employees have signed a manifesto going against the tech giant's COVID-19 vaccination requirements, CNBC reported Nov. 23. 

Google asked its more than 150,000 employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and upload a copy of their vaccination status to its internal systems by Dec. 3, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC. The requirement is for all employees, whether they come into the office or work remotely, 

The mandate comes after the Biden administration's order for U.S. companies with 100 or more workers to ensure their staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or regularly tested by Jan. 4. Chris Rackow, Google's vice president of security, said the company was already implementing requirements, so the widened mandate under the president's executive order included "minimal" changes. 

The manifesto asks Google leaders to create a new vaccination mandate that is "inclusive of all Googlers" and claims that the company's decision will affect the rest of corporate America, according to the report. It also asks Google workers to "oppose the mandate as a matter of principle" and argues that Google should not have a record of employees' vaccination status. 

In a statement shared with CNBC, a Google spokesperson said the company stands behind its vaccination mandate: "As we've stated to all our employees and the author of this document, our vaccination requirements are one of the most important ways we can keep our workforce safe and keep our services running. We firmly stand behind our vaccination policy." 

The Google employees who drafted the manifesto also sent their concerns in an open letter to the company's chief health officer, Karen DeSalvo, MD, according to the report. Opposition to the mandate comes amid Google's efforts to grow its healthcare business. 

In August, the tech giant began reorganizing its health division after its former chief, David Feinberg, MD, left to head up Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR company Cerner. Under the restructuring, teams that fell under Dr. Feinberg's leadership moved to other units closer to product areas that could better support earlier-stage research and projects, a company spokesperson told Becker's in August. 

Google has several ongoing healthcare initiatives, including its EHR search tool pilot with St. Louis-based Ascension and its healthcare cloud product partnerships with Amwell, Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, among others.

 

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