SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — In less than 24 hours, all new San Francisco city employees will be required to get vaccinated before they start their new jobs unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
The new move comes as city leaders try to figure out how to get more residents vaccinated overall.READ MORE: Oakland Ties 2020 Homicide Total in First 9 Months of 2021
San Francisco is the first city and county with such a requirement in the state.
Additionally, officials say no city employee will be able to substitute a negative COVID test for proof of vaccination. KPIX Spoke to San Francisco’s Human Resource Director Carol Isen, who said the new mandate adds to last week’s announcement requiring all 35,000 city employees to be vaccinated once the vaccines receive full approval from the FDA.READ MORE: Advocates for Immigrant Rights March From Santa Rosa to Healdsburg
City workers who refuse to be vaccinated and don’t get medical or religious exemptions could be fired.
“We really aren’t focused on the consequences at present. We’re focused on the advantages and the education,” said Isen. “Our policies do say that we may consider discipline up to and including separation from city service for non-compliant employees. But we are a long way away from that. We are more focused right now on the health orders.”
Employees will have 10 weeks after the vaccines are approved to get their shots. The vaccines are currently being administered under emergency authorization by the FDA. They are expected to be approved in a few months.MORE NEWS: Pelosi Expects House to Pass Infrastructure Bill This Week
That policy covers all city and county employees including police officers, firefighters, city hall clerks and custodians. It does not cover teachers, who are San Francisco Unified School District employees.