BALTIMORE — The new vaccination policy takes effect October 18th and requires city workers to prove they’ve gotten COVID-19 shots or face weekly testing.
It’s estimated as many as 7,000 of its 15,000 employees are not fully vaccinated.
“We believe that it does generally mirror the city when you talk about vaccination rates, and we’ll be hosting at least 10 clinics for our employees and their families as we move forward,” said Mayor Brandon Scott.
If employees fail to adhere to the policy, they cannot enter city facilities and could be subject to disciplinary action including termination.
Those who have had the virus, yet have not sought out a shot will not be exempt.
“When you look at natural immunity meaning you had the disease and you developed antibodies versus immunity that’s acquired following the vaccination, the thought is that immunity acquired from vaccination may last longer,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “So even if you’ve had the disease, you should very much so get vaccinated.”
For now, the city is not mandating that every employee get vaccinated, but city leaders say they have not ruled that out in the future.
“We may come back and find out that in the future this is not enough to get those vaccination levels up to where they need to be,” said City Comptroller Bill Henry. “and if that’s the case, then we may continue to ask the administration to pursue stronger options.”