Oct 28, 2021 - COVID

Around 65% of Philadelphia city employees vaccinated

Illustration of a syringe moving up and to the right like an upward trending arrow.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Roughly 65% of the city's employees are fully vaccinated, as of Tuesday — below the city average of 71%.

  • Vaccination rates by department will be released later Thursday.

Why it matters: It's been almost two months since Philly's early September deadline for its workers to get vaccinated passed. Yet up until last week, only a third had shown proof of vaccination.

State of play: Philadelphia's mandate for city workers is voluntary, which means employees either have to get vaccinated or double-mask on the job.

  • Meanwhile, all health care workers in the city had to get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by last Friday. Acting Health commissioner Cheryl Bettigole said the city is still surveying the data on how many made it.
  • Bettigole said the city will work with nursing homes that aren't at a 100% vaccination rate to test employees semi-weekly.

The big picture: Philly's policy is less stringent compared to cities like Chicago and New York City, which threaten unpaid leave if their employees without an exemption refuse to get vaccinated.

What we're watching: More residents will likely soon be eligible for a vaccine. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel backed Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 earlier this week.

  • The School District of Philadelphia told Axios that although it supports anyone who's eligible to get a vaccine, there are no plans to enforce a mandate for students at this time.

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