Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago mentioned on Wednesday that each one metropolis workers will likely be must be absolutely vaccinated by Oct. 15. The motion by the town, the second-largest in the USA to impose such a requirement, got here as coronavirus infections proceed to unfold quickly throughout the nation.
The coverage will apply to greater than 30,000 workers, together with lecturers, cops, firefighters and sanitation employees. Staff could apply for a medical or non secular exemption.
“As circumstances of Covid-19 proceed to rise, we should take each step mandatory and at our disposal to maintain everybody in our metropolis secure and wholesome,” Ms. Lightfoot mentioned in an announcement. “Getting vaccinated has been confirmed to be one of the simplest ways to realize that and make it potential to get better from this devastating pandemic. And so, we’ve determined to hitch different municipalities and authorities businesses throughout the nation, together with the U.S. army, who’re making this resolution to guard the people who find themselves conserving our cities and nation transferring.”
The Los Angeles Metropolis Council passed the same vaccine mandate final week for the town’s practically 60,000 municipal employees (the general public colleges there usually are not a part of the town authorities). Los Angeles County and the town of Seattle have additionally adopted mandates.
In New York Metropolis, Mayor Invoice de Blasio has introduced that lecturers and different faculty workers will likely be required to be vaccinated, and different metropolis workers should both be vaccinated or undergo weekly coronavirus checks.
The Meals and Drug Administration granted full approval on Monday to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for folks 16 and older, making the vaccine the primary to maneuver past emergency-use standing in the USA.
Ms. Lightfoot, whose administration has had a rocky relationship with main labor unions, is anticipated to face resistance from their members, notably within the union representing cops. She mentioned on Wednesday that her administration was in conversations with labor unions to “create a vaccination coverage that’s workable, honest and efficient.”
The Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago mentioned earlier this week that it opposed a mandate and was awaiting extra info from the mayor’s workplace.
Bob Reiter, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, which represents union members in Chicago and Cook dinner County, mentioned that whereas unions imagine in the advantages of vaccination, “we don’t imagine punitive mandates are the proper path to considerably enhance vaccine uptake.”
“We imagine this announcement could harden opposition to the vaccine, as an alternative of defending the employees who’ve sacrificed a lot over the previous 18 months,” Mr. Reiter mentioned in an e-mail.
Practically 64 % of Chicago residents age 12 and older have been absolutely vaccinated; nationwide, 60 % of Individuals 12 and older have been absolutely vaccinated.