San Francisco is the first city in California (and in the country) to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all 35,000 government city employees once it has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. While they previously required employees in high-risk settings to be vaccinated, the new policy will mandate vaccinations for police, firefighters, operators, clerks, and even City Hall custodians. A mandate is already in place for those who work at hospitals, nursing homes, and jails.
Currently, more than 70% of Californians are partially vaccinated against COVID-19 and 41.7 million total doses have been administered. This is largely in part from bizarre incentive programs, like complimentary tickets to a San Francisco game and a vaccine lottery.
Mayor London Breed announced that 80% of San Francisco residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine and that nearly 70% of all residents are fully vaccinated. According to the Department of Human Resources, 55% of the city’s employees have had at least one dose and nearly 5% of employees have not been vaccinated.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that vaccines will not be mandated under the FDA, states and local governments can make it required under applicable law. Schools have also jumped on this bandwagon as well, with both the University of California and California State University announcing that they would implement COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
Under the order, city employees will have 10 weeks (until July 29) after FDA approval to get any of the three authorized vaccines or result in the risk of getting terminated. They have to provide documentation status through the city’s portal with the name of the vaccine and the date it was received.
San Francisco director of human resources Carol Isen called it a decision “for the health and safety of our employees” and the public that they serve. She said it was about protecting the city as an employer and warned that anyone refusing to comply could result in getting fired. No more my body, my choice?
Vaccine passports have been a hot topic in many states, with some counties facing legal lawsuits. The Los Angeles Unified School District was even sued over its mandatory vaccine policy, which included a “digital tracking policy.” In Houston TX, 153 employees resigned or were fired after refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate. And in battles outside of the U.S, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has started threatening to arrest and jail people who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
This has been the latest in a string of government agencies and workplaces attempting to force people to receive the vaccination and not everyone in San Francisco is on board with the mandate, including President of Transport Workers Union Local 250-A Roger Marenco.
“So we are in favor of anybody and everybody being vaccinated. However, we are not in favor of forced, mandatory vaccines, whether that be due to personal beliefs, religious beliefs, political beliefs, health issues, safety issues, whatever the case may be. No, no guidelines. It was pretty much just, ‘Hey, this is what we’re doing. Here it is, like it or not,’” Marenco said.
Vice President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association Sgt. Tracy McGray said it was “extreme” to terminate someone over the policy and issued a statement that their employment lawyers are looking over the mandate to see how it would be implemented.
“We understand there might be medical reasons or health reasons people don’t want to get the vaccine. Our human resources department will meet with people if they have a grievance and try to resolve it. But ultimately, it’s something that we need to do. We need to make sure we not only protect the folks who work around people, but the public as well,” Mayor Breed warned.
There you have it. According to the Dems, “it’s the thing you need to do.” Even though there are risks involved and it isn’t fully FDA-approved, you still gotta get the jab in California. Or get fired.
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