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San Francisco’s roughly 35,000 city employees will be required to get the coronavirus vaccine — or else possibly face getting fired, local officials said Wednesday.
The new policy would likely make the northern California city the first in the US to mandate that all government staffers be inoculated against COVID-19, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Exemptions will be granted for medical or religious reasons, the report said. Workers without exemptions who still refuse to get vaccinated will face “repercussions [that] go all the way up to termination,” said Mawuli Tugbenyoh, chief of policy for the city’s Department of Human Resources.
“But we’re focused on the education and outreach part of it now,” Tugbenyoh added.
The mandate will go into effect once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for the vaccines, three of which are currently allowed under emergency use authorization. The shots are expected to be fully approved within a few months.
Employees will then have 10 weeks to get their jabs, and will be required to report their vaccination status through the city’s payroll system. They will need to provide proof, such as a photo of their vaccination card.
Roughly 55 percent of city workers have said that they are already at least partially vaccinated, according to the Chronicle.
“It’s really a decision for the health and safety of our employees and our public that we serve,” Carol Isen, the city’s director of human resources, told the newspaper.
“It’s about protecting the city as an employer from what we deem to be unacceptable risk.”
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