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Activision Blizzard Ends COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in US Offices

Activision Blizzard Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao informed employees of the changing policy Thursday.
Activision Blizzard Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao informed employees of the changing policy Thursday. / Pool/GettyImages

Activision Blizzard will no longer require employees in the United States to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the company told staff Thursday.

Former Blizzard QA worker and organizer Jessica Gonzalez leaked an email from Activision Chief Administrative Officer announcing the policy had ended "effective immediately," saying "employees no longer need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to return to the office."

Bulatao said the decision was made to bring Activision Blizzard in line with "local guidance." Management still asks that employees continue to confirm their vaccination status in case the company decides to change the policy again.

Blizzard Senior UI Engineer Valentine Powell, another organizer at the company, was expressed disappointment at the news.

"Informed today by Trump's favorite bully, Brian Bulatao that the vaccine mandate that was part of our agreement for returning to the office has now been lifted, and that anyone will be able to be in office regardless of vaccine status," he tweeted, referring to Bulatao's previous role in the Trump administration's State Department.

"So thats fun," Powell concluded ruefully.

After settling a lawsuit earlier this week brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Activision Blizzard is currently being sued by three different parties for fostering a work environment of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination. Microsoft has announced plans to acquire the company for $68.7 billion, but the FTC has yet to approve the deal, and four U.S. senators pressured the FTC to scrutinize it thoroughly earlier this week.