The Raytheon stand is seen at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Raytheon, the maker of Tomahawk missiles, will require all U.S. employees to have a COVID-19 vaccination, the company said in a Wednesday statement.

The employees need to get shots by mid-December in order to meet a Jan. 1 deadline for immunization, a source familiar with policy said.

“In keeping with our ongoing commitment to maintain employee health and safety, Raytheon Technologies will require its U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated to further protect employees and communities from the risks and uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants,” the statement said.

“The expectation is that employees meet the requirement and if they do not, like any company policy, there are levels of disciplinary action that could be considered – up to and including termination,” the person familiar with policy said.

Raytheon has 181,000 employees around the world but only U.S. employees are subject to the policy.

U.S. President Joe Biden met on Wednesday with U.S. CEOs and other top business leaders as he pushes companies to require workers to be inoculated against COVID-19 amid a surge in infections among the unvaccinated. read more

Biden last week announced vaccine mandates for nearly all federal employees, federal contractors, and larger companies as the number of U.S. infections continued to rise, hospital beds in some parts of the country filled up and mask requirements returned.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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