Disney to require COVID vaccinations for US employees

Florida

Guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) — The Walt Disney Company has announced it will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees, becoming the latest major company to do so as cases spike and concerns over the delta variant grow.

The company made the announcement in a statement released Friday, saying all salaried and non-union hourly employees working at any site in the United States be fully vaccinated.

“Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions,” the company statement said.

Disney added that it’s also having conversations about vaccine requirements with unions representing employees under collective bargaining agreements. New hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before they start.

“Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees,” a spokesperson said.

In its statement, the company said it made the decision based on the latest recommendations from scientists, health officials and the company’s own medical professionals.

The news of the vaccine requirement comes just days after Disney World in Orlando reinstated its indoor mask mandate for all guests, regardless of vaccination status.

Full statement from the Walt Disney Company:

“At The Walt Disney Company, the safety and well-being of our employees during the pandemic has been and continues to be a top priority. Toward that end, and based on the latest recommendations of scientists, health officials and our own medical professionals that the COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection against severe infection, we are requiring that all salaried and non-union hourly employees in the U.S. working at any of our sites be fully vaccinated. Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions. We have also begun conversations around this topic with the unions representing our employees under collective bargaining agreements. In addition, all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment. Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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