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Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The California burger chain In-N-Out is refusing to follow San Francisco's vaccination mandate, which requires restaurants to check for customers' proof of vaccination to dine indoors, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Public Health Department has had to remind employees multiple times to check for proof of vaccination since September, ultimately resulting in the city's only In-N-Out location getting shut down on Oct. 14. It is the only time the agency has ordered a restaurant's closure over a mandate violation, officials told the Post.

  • The restaurant has since reopened but without the option to dine indoors.

What they're saying: "We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government,” Arnie Wensinger, In-N-Out’s chief legal and business officer, said in a statement shared with the Post.

  • "It is unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe to force our restaurant Associates to segregate Customers into those who may be served and those who may not, whether based on the documentation they carry, or any other reason."
  • "We fiercely disagree with any government dictate that forces a private company to discriminate against customers who choose to patronize their business," Wensinger said. "This is clear governmental overreach and is intrusive, improper, and offensive."

Reality check: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it is less safe to dine in restaurants with indoor settings, particularly in areas with substantial or high coronavirus transmission rates, such as San Francisco.

"Vaccines remain our best tool to fight this disease and come out of the pandemic," a San Francisco health department spokesperson said.

  • "Vaccination is particularly important in a public indoor setting where groups of people are gathering and removing their masks, factors that make it easier for the virus to spread."

Go deeper

19 hours ago - Health

Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine to a child at a Salvation Army vaccination clinic in Philadelphia on Nov. 12. Photo: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer could have data on COVID-19 vaccine efficacy for children under five by the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla said on Friday in an interview with NBC News.

Why it matters: Omicron has raised concerns that young children are becoming more vulnerable to the virus. Tshwane, the epicenter of South Africa's Omicron outbreak, has seen a high number of hospital admissions for children under two in the last few weeks, though scientists have not confirmed a link to the variant, Reuters reports.

Omicron variant found in Philadelphia man

A technician handles tubes containing swab samples for COVID-19. Photo: Ahmad Salem/Getty Images

A Northwest Philadelphia resident has tested positive for the Omicron variant, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced Friday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case of the new coronavirus variant involves a man in his 30s, the department said.

Axios AM Deep Dive: Pandemic eating

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A food revolution began pre-pandemic and COVID has only accelerated that. See how America's food industry is transforming, from farm to your table.