Pasadena to require city employees to get COVID vaccines

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Pasadena is planning to require city employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 once federal regulators give any of the vaccines full approval, officials said Tuesday.

So far, 60% of the city’s employees have attested to being fully vaccinated.

With the delta variant spreading and Pasadena seeing a spike in coronavirus infections, “a vaccine policy is the right thing to do,” Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said in a statement.

“We’ve even had community members call the City Manager’s Office, saying that they only want vaccinated police and fire to respond to their incident if they need to call 911 for help. And at this point that’s not feasible,” Derderian told KTLA.

The Pasadena City Manager announced at a City Council meeting on Monday that the city will implement the policy requiring vaccinations for its over 2,000 employees. The policy is still being developed and it remains unclear how the city will deal with employees who don’t comply.

Officials said the city won’t implement the policy until after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives final approval to at least one of the COVID-19 vaccines, which all currently have emergency use authorization.

A decision on full approval is likely to come within two months, an FDA official told CNN this week.

Pasadena would be the first city to implement such a policy in Southern California, according to Derderian.

San Francisco recently announced similar vaccination policy for city workers, also with plans to implement it once vaccines receive full federal approval.

The policy would cover 35,000 municipal workers in San Francisco and is believed to be the first of its kind by any city or county in the U.S.

In San Francisco’s case, employees who refuse to get vaccinated and don’t get an exemption could be disciplined and fired, according to the policy.

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