Over 90% of San Francisco's City workforce — a vocational cohort numbering about 35,140 people — has received a COVID-19 vaccine, abiding by the imposed vaccine mandate. 2,706 City employees, however, haven't gotten vaccinated yet; 366 of them are police staff.
And 193 of those SFPD staff members have applied for religious exemptions in order to sidestep the City's vaccine mandate for workers without losing their jobs.
🍎 Drop-in today -- and every Tuesday -- from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Malcolm X Academy in the #Bayview (350 Harbor Road) for your COVID-19 vaccine! @SFUnified @SF_DCYF— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) September 21, 2021
No appointment needed.
No documentation required. #VaccinateSF pic.twitter.com/SV5mzfqz9h
In a finding initially published by the Chronicle, it was revealed Friday that a substantial amount of the SFPD staff is unvaccinated against the pandemic-born illness. Moreover: Over half of those want their religious beliefs to justify their request to ignore sound science and public health information put forth by qualified experts.
Oh, and per the newspaper, SF’s Department of Human Resources has said 157 exemptions have been tentatively approved — but City officials are still reviewing those requests.
“The only way out of the pandemic and to protect our workers, is to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated against COVID-19,” Mawuli Tugbenyoh, chief of policy for the Department of Human Resources, said in a statement. “The damage that COVID-19 has done to our communities, health, and livelihoods is now preventable.”
In total, the Department of Human Resources has reportedly received 296 religious exemption requests; it's also received at least 21 medical exemption requests from City employees.
According to the Chronicle, the department said it will review requests for accommodation on a case-by-case basis, which includes going over the supplied answers given for "relevant questions regarding the religious belief, practice or observance that prevents them from getting the COVID-19 vaccination.”
All San Francisco City employees must be either vaccinated against COVID-19 or have their exemption from the mandate approved by October 13 — or risk termination.
As of publishing, 88% of eligible San Franciscans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 81% have completed a full COVID-19 vaccine series.
Related: San Francisco Plans on Opening 100 Vaccination Sites to Help Inoculate Kids Under 12 This Fall
Image: San Francisco police officers patrol Chinatown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco police have stepped up patrols in Asian neighborhoods in the wake of a series of shootings at spas in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. The main suspect, Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been taken into custody. The San Francisco Bay Area is also seeing an increase in violence against the Asian community. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)