The city of San Francisco announced Wednesday evening that all city employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or they risk termination.
San Francisco would become the first large city in the country to require its employees to receive vaccination as a condition of employment.
“It’s really a decision for the health and safety of our employees and our public that we serve,” said Carol Isen, director of human resources for the city and county of San Francisco. “It’s about protecting the city as an employer from what we deem to be unacceptable risk.”
The announcement said that the city’s 37,000 employees will have 10 weeks to be fully vaccinated starting from the time the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides final approval for the vaccines.
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the United States under an emergency authorization by the FDA. This emergency use allows the FDA to expedite the availability of countermeasures, treatments and vaccines.
Full approval for authorized vaccines is expected to be awarded in the next few months.
In the meantime, city of San Francisco employees will be required to report their vaccination status by July 29. Employees are required to upload a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card or other official documentation confirming vaccination.
"It's quite straightforward – it's my job to protect the safety of our employees; I am exercising my duty under the San Francisco charter to do just that," said Isen.
According to city officials, approximately 60 percent of city employees have been fully vaccinated.
Employees who receive an official religious or medical exemption would be excluded from the vaccination requirement.
"The science is absolutely clear," Isen said. "If you're vaccinated, you have the force field. Unvaccinated, you're really a big risk to yourself and the people around you."
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