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Los Angeles city employees will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by early October, unless they are granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons, under a new ordinance approved Wednesday by the City Council.

The law, approved on a 13-0 vote, now goes to Mayor Eric Garcetti for his signature. It would permit people with medical conditions or “sincerely held religious beliefs” that prevent them from getting the shots to seek an exemption, requiring regular testing for such employees.

However, it would not allow L.A. municipal employees to simply opt for testing if they wish to avoid getting vaccinated for other reasons, because “the city’s goal is to have a vaccinated workforce,” the proposal states.

“How can we ask Angelenos to be vaccinated if we are not doing it ourselves?” said City Council President Nury Martinez. “We need to set the strong example for our communities. The vaccines are available; they’re effective; and they are keeping people out of the hospital and off ventilators.

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