Disney to provide Cast Members with free MMR vaccines following advice from Florida Department of Health

Feb 13, 2015 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Friday February 13, 2015 1:41pm EST by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company is set to offer cast members at Walt Disney World with free MMR vaccinations.

The Florida Department of Health says that, "While there have been no confirmed measles cases in Florida residents, we have seen confirmed cases in visitors, some of whom were evaluated by Florida healthcare providers but not tested or diagnosed."

By offering the free vaccinations to Cast Members, Disney is assisting in keeping Florida measles free.

Measles has hit the headlines in recent times after an outbreak at the Disneyland Resort in California.

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The MomFeb 17, 2015

I think this topic has run its course. ;)

NormCFeb 16, 2015

The new Magic Band will vaccinate all who wear it.............:D

drew81Feb 16, 2015

Did I blame Disney? I said it was an interesting article.

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

I was referring to a particular case in the state in which I live; I imagine it varies from state to state and the particular situation. One of the first test given to a pregnant woman is a blood test. And one thing screened for is measles. So that test definitively confirmed what I knew. I had measles as a child.

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

I don't see this as a soap box for autism. I see people with legitimate concerns about a particular vaccination expressing their concerns and why they are worried about a mandatory vaccination policy, especially since the initial discussion for exemption focused on compromised immune systems. Fortunately, I don't have medical conditions that would affect my ability to be vaccinated against some diseases. And then worry about what being infected would do to my long term health.

willtravelFeb 15, 2015

Not always true. I got married for the second time in Indiana at 40 years of age. For my marriage license I had to either go thru tests checking for certain child hood diseases or prove that I had the shots with heath records. Had no records. Went thru tests and I showed that I did not have rubella. I had to get the rubella shot because I was still of child bearing years even though I was not able to have children. No shot, no license. My first marriage in Ohio I did not have to go thru this. Least to say I was totally surprised I did not have rubella. But I always assumed I had the shot or had the disease.

jaklgreenFeb 15, 2015

There is a difference between having to send you kid to daycare so you can work and going out to eat or a vacation with a newborn. One is necessity the other is not.

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

Don't blame Disney. Remember when Oprah made that comment about hamburgers? And what happened? Beef sales plummeted (and we got Dr. Phil). And not that I want to keep mentioning her name, but look what Jenny McCarthy's statements did to MMR vaccination rates. The internet and social media provide many pluses, but they also allow the rapid spread of misinformation and other negative actions. To our detriment.

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

My daughter's chronic ear infections as an infant were directly attributed to her staying in day care. At the time I couldn't afford to stay home or have in home care since I am the sole bread winner. But I made sure she got her shots and didn't wandered around the malls with her until she was at least a couple if months old and had her first series of vaccines.

drew81Feb 15, 2015

Interesting story http://news.yahoo.com/ap-exclusive-disney-gave-input-measles-health-messages-093925348.html ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — As the measles outbreak spread last month, Disneyland executives sent a series of emails to California health officials asking them to emphasize that the theme park was not responsible for the illnesses and was safe to visit, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. There is no evidence Disneyland — or health officials, who incorporated at least some of the theme park's suggestions — tried to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak or mislead the public. Nor is it unusual for companies to try to get public officials' ear during a crisis. But the email exchange pulls back the curtain on what can be a delicate process. And it shows Disneyland's concern about the disease's potential harm to "The Happiest Place on Earth" even as the theme park worked with health authorities to alert the public to the danger. As the infections multiplied, Disneyland forwarded suggestions to the California Department of Public Health and tried to insert language into an update from the Orange County Health Care Agency, according to correspondence spanning the first two weeks of the outbreak. The emails were obtained through a public records request. In one exchange, a Disneyland official wanted the state to make it clear the park was not responsible for the outbreak. In another, Disneyland wanted the state to clarify that it was safe for vaccinated people to visit the theme park. In that instance, the state updated its website to address Disneyland's concern. More than 70 people in California — including six Disneyland employees — and about two dozen others in six states, Mexico and Canada have been sickened in the outbreak. While measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, the illness has reappeared in recent years, brought in from overseas and transmitted to Americans who didn't get vaccinated. First word of the outbreak came Jan. 7 when California authorities confirmed a cluster of infections in people who visited Disney's California theme parks days before Christmas. Disneyland's medical team worked with health investigators to identify people who had close contact with infected workers, and it offered employees vaccinations and blood tests to see if they were immune. The next week, Disneyland Resort's vice president of communications emailed state health agency spokesman Ron Owens, laying out her desire to advise the public that measles is highly contagious and can only be prevented through vaccination. "Basically, our goal is to ensure people know that the exposure period at the Disneyland Resort is now over, that this has nothing to do with Disneyland and this could happen anywhere," Cathi Killian wrote. She added: "Can you please let us know if you are able to help us on this front?" The state health department's website included similar language. State health spokeswoman Anita Gore told the AP in an email: "When clarification is needed, we make adjustments where necessary." Deanne Thompson, a spokeswoman for the county health department, told the AP that Disneyland made "no attempt to control or pressure" the department to incorporate any suggestions. In one of the email exchanges, Disneyland's chief medical officer, Dr. Pamela Hymel, forwarded to California's top epidemiologist, Dr. Gil Chavez, a statement from Disneyland's public relations arm with "some points," including: "It is absolutely safe to visit these places, including the Disneyland Resort, if you are vaccinated." Chavez replied that Disneyland's statement was "100 percent consistent" with what he said publicly a day earlier, when he announced that it was fine to visit Disneyland with the proper vaccinations but that those who haven't gotten their shots should stay away. Chavez went ahead and had a version of Disneyland's statement posted on the state health department's website. Crisis communications experts said that it is not uncommon for companies to make suggestions during a disease outbreak and that their view can be helpful as long as they don't try to distort the message. "At the end of the day, you are trying to balance potentially competing interests, but you are also trying to give people the best advice possible," said Glen Nowak, a former spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now heads the Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Georgia. ___

jaklgreenFeb 15, 2015

I wish I could "like" this 100 times. I LOVE WDW and went every year before kids and go every year now. But took a few years off when my kids were born. My kids are 13 months apart. We did not go anywhere until the youngest was over a year old. I put my own selfish needs aside for the good of my kids. We did not take our babies to the movies or to a restaurant or on vacation. My girls are now just turning 13&14 years old and have never had an ear infection or strep or the flu. They have only been sick with the common cold a few times in their lives. And yes they are vaccinated. I work in a restaurant down the street from a woman's hospital. I see people bring their day old newborns in on the way home from the hospital. :jawdrop: My head almost explodes when I see this. Why, in the middle of winter flu season, would anyone bring a newborn into the public like this? And these parents are shocked when the baby comes down with RSV. No reason at all to take a baby to areas like WDW. It will be there next year and the year after and the year after that.

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

Part PR, probably part prevention since the number of states with cases tied to the outbreak at DL is growing. And heading East. There are folks who still believe Disney was responsible for the outbreak at DL. "Don't go to Disney, you'll catch measles!!!". lol

LAKid53Feb 15, 2015

Much cheaper since that quarantine had to be at least 7 days.

lazyboy97oFeb 15, 2015

A vaccine is also probably cheaper than the paid leave that was implemented as part of trying to quarantine Cast Members at the Disneyland Resort.