Town of San Francisco stated on Wednesday that it might require all 35,000 of its staff to be vaccinated towards Covid-19 or threat dropping their jobs, making it one of many largest U.S. municipalities to impose a vaccine mandate for public employees.
The requirement will take impact as soon as a Covid vaccine receives full authorization from the Meals and Drug Administration. The vaccines are at present being utilized in the USA beneath emergency authorizations.
Metropolis officers stated that the requirement would promote security in municipal workplaces and among the many common public, on condition that law enforcement officials, firefighters, constructing inspectors and different metropolis employees come into common contact with members of the neighborhood.
“With these two issues in thoughts — the protection of our staff and the protection of the general public we serve — we made this determination,” stated Carol Isen, San Francisco’s director of human assets. “We imagine this step is an easy one to take. It’s secure, it’s very efficient, and it’s going to ensure the protection of all.”
San Francisco has one of many highest vaccination charges of any main U.S. metropolis, with 80 p.c of residents 12 and older having obtained a minimum of one dose and 70 p.c absolutely vaccinated, Mayor London Breed said this month. Ms. Isen stated that casual surveys of metropolis employees — lots of whom reside in different municipalities the place vaccination charges are decrease — recommended that a minimum of 60 p.c had been absolutely vaccinated.
Below the brand new coverage, beginning on Monday, metropolis staff shall be required to point out proof of their vaccination standing inside 30 days. Metropolis officers stated that they’d redouble efforts to get photographs to those that haven’t had them, whereas permitting employees to request exemptions on medical or non secular grounds.
Each Pfizer and Moderna, the makers of the 2 most generally used Covid photographs the USA, have utilized for full F.D.A. approval for his or her vaccines, however it’s unclear when regulators will decide.
Elsewhere in the USA, vaccine mandates have been met with opposition. This week, greater than 150 employees members at a Houston-area hospital were fired or resigned for not following a coverage that requires staff to be vaccinated towards Covid-19.
San Francisco officers stated that staff who didn’t meet the vaccine requirement may lose their jobs, however added that firings could be a final resort. A recent outbreak of the Delta variant amongst unvaccinated residents in close by Marin County — the place greater than 80 p.c of individuals are absolutely inoculated — reveals the necessity for everybody to obtain the photographs, officers stated.
“We see that Delta did make its means via a cluster of unvaccinated folks, and so we simply needed to make this transfer rapidly,” Ms. Isen stated. “We hope our staff reply to this within the spirit by which it’s supplied — not as a punishment, however as a security measure.”