Disney World to require Covid-19 vaccinations for unionized staff

Guests wear masks. upon need. to attend Magic Kingdom’s Official Reopening Day at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Saturday, July 11, 2020.

Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images

Disney has reached an agreement with its unions that all unionized employees at Walt Disney World in Florida will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 22, 2021.

The move comes almost a month after Disney mandated that all of its salaried and non-union workers in the U.S. be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of September.

No agreement has been reached with unions on the west coast that look after Disneyland Resort employees.

The Service Trades Council Union, which is made up of six member unions representing about 43,000 Disney performers in Florida, said the company will host on-site vaccine events for employees over the next few weeks.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and free,” the union said in a memo to members on Monday. “As of today, the Pfizer vaccine is FDA approved and offered by the company to get rid of this deadly virus.”

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, making it the first in the US to receive the coveted award and giving even more companies, schools and universities more confidence in accepting vaccine mandates gave.

So far, the mRNA vaccine, now marketed as Comirnaty, has been on the US market under emergency approval granted by the FDA in December.

Workers with illnesses or “sincere” religious beliefs are entitled to an exemption, the union said.

Disney considers its employees fully vaccinated if they are at least two weeks after vaccination is complete, whether after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or after a single vaccination of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Disney has updated its safety guidelines in line with local health regulations since the pandemic began, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, the company required proof of a Covid vaccination or a negative Covid test before entering its Paris amusement park according to French guidelines.

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