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2,500 DC health care workers miss vaccine mandate deadline, as firefighters seek religious exemptions


Washington, D.C., town officers stated virtually 2,500 wellness care workers have unsuccessful to comply with their COVID-19 mandate deadline demanding at minimum a person dose of the inoculation by Thursday. Almost 70% of these wellness treatment staff who have not still been vaccinated have requested spiritual exemptions. 

City Administrator Kevin Donahue reported the biggest quantity of exemption requests have occur from the D.C. Fire and EMS Department, The Washington Post reported. About 267 of the agency’s some 2,000 workers have sought some kind of exemption from the vaccine mandate, with the huge bulk of that team citing their faith. All 20 requests which have been reviewed so far have been rejected. 

Donahue said 89% of all D.C. federal government staff had documented their vaccination status by Thursday afternoon, with 75% reporting that they were being totally vaccinated. For the duration of a get in touch with Friday, D.C. City Council member Elissa Silverman recommended that the town health section may well remove the spiritual exemption for the vaccine mandate, arguing possible abuse. 

But customers of the DC Firefighters Bodily Autonomy Affirmation Group, which is produced up of associates who hold Christian, Jewish and Muslim beliefs, insist that their requests for spiritual exemptions coincide with real expressions of their faith, which has comforted them all through the pandemic. The group has retained lawful counsel should their requests be denied. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared in August that all licensed, accredited wellbeing specialists, EMS staff, as very well as unlicensed wellness care employees, which contain affected person care professionals, private treatment aides, environmental services employees, will have to start off a vaccination dosage by Sept. 30. 

That mandate applies to some 82,000 accredited well being treatment employees, not such as fire division personnel, town officers mentioned. 

But just 51,000 licensed health treatment personnel experienced noted their vaccination position by Friday morning – about 49,000 of which stated they had obtained one particular or far more doses of the vaccine, The Washington Publish claimed. In the meantime, some 1,640 accredited health care staff described that they experienced not started a dosage – and 75% of that group said they are searching for a religious exemption. 

Of the about 13,000 unlicensed overall health care staff who reported their status to the metropolis, additional than 12,000 said they been given at the very least a single dose of the vaccine. In the meantime, 62% of the some 823 unlicensed workers who noted not obtaining gained the vaccine are requesting a religious exemption.

Donahue claimed every exemption ask for need to be reviewed on a situation-by-case foundation underneath federal legislation, and there is an appeals process, WTOP reported. But firefighters whose requests are ultimately denied might encounter termination. Other well being care workers may experience having their healthcare licenses revoked. Those people personnel who could enchantment the determination will proceed to be subjected to weekly screening.   


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