Google, Facebook and Netflix mandate vaccines for US employees

The moves come as Delta variant of Covid-19 runs rife across America

FILE PHOTO: Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during signing ceremony committing Google to help expand information technology education at El Centro College in Dallas, Texas, U.S. October 3, 2019.  REUTERS/Brandon Wade/File Photo

As US President Joe Biden is expected to announce Covid-19 vaccinations are mandatory for federal government employees on Thursday, a number of major companies across America have made the same decision.

Netflix is now mandating vaccinations on US productions, making it the first major Hollywood studio to establish such a policy. The rules, announced on Wednesday, will extend to anyone working in Zone A, which includes actors and anyone who comes into contact with them.

This move has been allowed after new return-to-work guidelines were agreed between Hollywood unions and major studios last week. These gave producers “the option to implement mandatory vaccination policies for casts and crew in Zone A on a production-by-production basis”.

Google announced it's rolling out the policy first in the US in the coming weeks, with plans to expand to other regions within months. "Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead," wrote chief executive Sundar Pichai in a blog post on Wednesday.

Pichai's post also announced plans to extend its global voluntary work-from-home policy to Monday, October 18.

Lori Goler, Facebook vice president of people, wrote in a statement, which came out shortly after the Google announcement: "How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves."

I’m proud of the way we continue to take care of each other while helping people, businesses and communities
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and Alphabet

So far, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have reportedly refused to mandate vaccines.

These announcements come as the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads across America, with the US reporting the highest number of new cases in the world within the past week, according to the World Health Organisation.

"While there is much that remains outside of our control, I’m proud of the way we continue to take care of each other while helping people, businesses and communities through these difficult times," Google's Pichai continued in his post.

"I hope these steps will give everyone greater peace of mind as offices reopen. Seeing Googlers together in the offices these past few weeks filled me with optimism, and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead."

Updated: July 29th 2021, 1:26 PM
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