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More than a quarter of L.A. County Metro employees have yet to show proof that they are vaccinated against COVID-19, despite the transportation authority imposing a recent deadline for workers to get the shots or face possible termination.

The latest figures from Metro indicate that 72% of its employees have shown they were vaccinated. Those numbers, which do not include workers out on leave, are lower among some categories of employees — most notably operators and schedule checkers, who reported only a 58% vaccination rate.

The vaccination numbers raise questions about how Metro will balance its goals of protecting transit riders and maintaining crucial services if high numbers of workers remain out of compliance with its COVID-19 vaccination rules.

John M. Ellis, a general chairman with the SMART transportation union that represents Metro bus and train operators, said Monday that his union was “knee-deep in negotiations” over how the vaccination rules will play out.

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