Berkshire Hathaway will hold its annual shareholders meeting in person this April, after having staged the event virtually since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic — but those attending will be required to show proof of a coronavirus vaccination, the company said.
The annual meeting, long known as “Woodstock for Capitalists,” has usually drawn tens of thousands of Berkshire shareholders to Omaha for the chance to hear directly from Warren E. Buffett, the company’s billionaire chief executive, for hours.
“As part of our commitment to the health and safety of our shareholders, proof of Covid-19 vaccination will be required to attend the 2022 annual meeting and the Berkshire Bazaar of Bargains,” the company said, adding that it had partnered with CLEAR Health Pass “to help make your entry to the annual meeting seamless.”
“For international attendees and shareholders who do not use the CLEAR app, we will have marked doors for you to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination and proper identification,” the company said. “Digital or hard copy of your Covid-19 vaccination record will be required.”
The requirement was tucked into Berkshire’s annual report to shareholders released on Saturday, which revealed a nearly $90 billion in profit for 2021 and which included a letter from Mr. Buffett stressing the influential role that the company played in the United States economy.
It is the latest effort by Mr. Buffett to wrap himself and his $713 billion company in the flag as it continues to be one of America’s most successful businesses. Last year proved to be good for Berkshire, with the company reporting $89.8 billion in earnings, more than double what it earned in 2020.
Mr. Buffett also praised the government’s role in enabling his business. “Our shareholders should acknowledge — indeed trumpet — the fact that Berkshire’s prosperity has been fostered mightily because the company has operated in America,” he wrote.