Chicago is requiring its city employees to be fully vaccinated by mid-October, joining multiple other cities imposing mandates on such workers.
All city employees will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 and will continue to have to mask and social distance, the city announced Wednesday.
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we must take every step necessary and at our disposal to keep everyone in our city safe and healthy,” Mayor Lori LightfootLori Lightfoot21 officers placed on 'no pay' status amid Chicago vaccine standoff Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect' Chicago Police Department begins placing officers on no-pay leave for unreported vaccination status MORE said (D).
“Getting vaccinated has been proven to be the best way to achieve that and make it possible to recover from this devastating pandemic," she added. "And so, we have decided to join other municipalities and government agencies across the nation, including the U.S. military, who are making this decision to protect the people who are keeping our cities and country moving.
"We have also been in close communication with our partners in the labor movement to create a vaccination policy that is workable, fair and effective,” she said.
Employees are allowed to apply for a medical or religious exemption from the policy, and applications will be reviewed by the city’s health department.
The move to require vaccinations comes after the Federal Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
Chicago already has given more than 70 percent of its residents one shot of the vaccine amid a rise in delta variant cases.
Multiple other cities, including New York City, have implemented a vaccine mandate for city employees.