The pressure to choose between vaccination and employment
Across California in recent weeks, many cities have introduced or are preparing to introduce mandatory vaccination policies for all city workers, with only a few exceptions such as religion and health risks.
San Francisco was the first to do so last month due to new variants presenting new risks, with many other cities in California and the country requiring vaccinations for city workers or opting for constant vaccinations or negative tests. for some employees like New York will start in August. Earlier this week, Pasadena has joined the growing list of cities that require all city employees to get vaccinated.
“While Pasadena’s case rates were lower than Los Angeles County last week, weekend case rates continued to rise,” city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said Wednesday. . âPasadena now meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of ‘substantial transmission’ of COVID-19.
âCurrently, they are about 60% of employees who have certified being vaccinated although with an increasing trend of positive cases among city employees and the new variant in our community, a mandatory policy is the right thing to do. do to protect employees who sometimes spend more hours at work than at home. The policy will take effect when there is formal FDA approval for the vaccines. The city of Pasadena would be the first to launch this policy in Southern California and the UC system recently announced that it has a similar mandate.
While many were in favor of the policy, it also left a number of city workers with an impossible choice.
“It’s either going against my personal choice not to get it for a lot of reasons and losing my job, or to compromise it all and stay at work,” said city employee. “Neil “at the Globe on Friday. âI don’t think these things work 100%. The current outbreak, most people who receive COVID have not received the vaccine, but 5% being hospitalized did not, and see what happened. But now, even though I personally don’t feel like it, suddenly it’s either facing some kind of punishment or going against personal principles and doing it.
People concerned about the health risks and reactions to the vaccine have also questioned the vaccine, with some even being singled out by others for not having already done so.
âThere was also intimidation to get one from a lot of people,â said âMary,â another city employee who spoke to The Globe. âIn my office, being known as an unvaccinated person, well, they look at you differently. They don’t want to hear from your side. A colleague kept telling me, âI have children. Get the damn vaccine. When I told her I needed time because my sister and brother both had very negative effects on getting this medicine and wanted to make sure it was safe for me, he wouldn’t have it and accused me of being “a baby”. All I want to do is find out if it could hurt me, and there he thinks I’m doing it on purpose or something.
A third city worker who has already vaccinated noted in an email to The Globe on Friday that many thought it was going too far.
âA lot of us really want everyone to get vaccinated, but it’s not good to try to coerce those who don’t want to. Many of us have said ‘HHere’s the data that shows why you should get it‘, but most still don’t want to. What we thought was coming was a choice between vaccinating or having to wear a mask and be constantly tested until the pandemic was over, which most of us thought was right. That way, they don’t have to vaccinate while the office can get back to normal. “
âNow the city is threatening to cut jobs and ruin families. And we want people to get vaccinated and we want things to get back to normal, especially with this delta variant that is out there now. What we didn’t want was destroying people’s lives and forcing that on them. And now it’s a choice between vaccination or their job. Just like San Francisco. It really isn’t fair.
The compulsory vaccination in Pasadena Will not come into effect until FDA approval for COVID-19 vaccines. Since Friday, the city did not specify if there will be a deadline for city employees like San Francisco instituted or what sanctions, such as disciplinary action or termination, would be granted to those who do not comply.