Activision Blizzard is dropping its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees "effective immediately," Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao announced in an email, which was tweeted by ABK Workers Alliance member Jessica Gonzalez.
"Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen businesses and other indoor venues across the U.S. lift vaccine requirements, and we feel it is important to align our site protocols with local guidance," Bulatao wrote in the email. Bulatao said he wants everyone returning to in-person work in the coming weeks and that employees with "personal circumstances" should contact their manager and HRBP.
"As we define what the future of work looks like, I want to remind us all of the benefits of in-person collaboration," he said. "In order to ensure we all have a safe workspace where we can gather with colleagues and innovate together, it is essential we stay committed to protecting ourselves and others."
He said that while workers don't need proof of vaccination to head back to the office, employees should still fill out their vaccination status on the management platform Workday. "Having this information readily available will allow us to act quickly — and pivot if necessary — if we see a future spike in cases," he wrote. Infectious disease experts are currently tracking the spread of BA.2, a subvariant of the omicron variant which is likely to cause another surge in cases.
Activision is among a small handful of companies that have begun dropping their vaccine mandates as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations fall. Adidas and Starbucks stopped requiring their workers to be vaccinated, while Intel put its policy to get vaccinated or leave on hold after a court ruling against Joe Biden's nationwide vaccine rule. Many large tech employers like Meta and Google still have their vaccine rules in place.