City officials encouraged by rising vaccination rates for St. Louis employees

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Two weeks after a vaccine mandate deadline passed for St. Louis civil employees to get vaccinated, city officials release data that shows an overwhelming majority of its workforce is vaccinated.

Nick Dunne, a spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, said nearly 76% of St. Louis civil employees—which includes city police officers and firefighters—are vaccinated against COVID-19.

The police department stands at 78% vaccinated with the fire department sitting at 76% vaccinated.

These numbers are the result of a push to get all city employees vaccinated. For those unvaccinated workers, they’ll have to submit weekly testing.

“Anything under 100 (percent) means that we still got more work to do,” Dunne said. “We do believe those numbers will increase.”

The city will continue its incentive program by gifting employees that comply with a $100 gift card.

“We also believe that as we continue to reach out to our employees to let them know just more information about the benefits of being vaccinated as opposed to testing every week, we do believe that we will see those numbers increase,” Dunne said.

A spokesperson for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department agrees.

Jay Schroeder, president of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, does as well.

“Just a few hiccups we had that were more clerical than anything. It seems like it’s gone pretty smooth,” he said.

Officials for the St. Louis Fire Department did not want to comment at this time.

“All these other cities that are having problems—Chicago, New York—it was forced vaccinations, or you had to pay for testing and the city’s paying for the testing, so all these other cities are suing for what we already have,” Schroeder said.

That free testing can be found via the state health department.

Anyone that refuses both options will be subjected to forced leave and a pre-termination review.

To submit a declaration of an employee’s vaccination status, a form must be submitted to the worker’s department head.

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