Harrisburg mandates vaccine for metropolis workers

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Harrisburg mandates vaccine for city employees

It is the first Pennsylvania community to mandate vaccinations for its employees.

HARRISBURG, PA. – The city of Harrisburg announced that all city employees must receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

It is the first Pennsylvania community to mandate vaccinations for its employees.

Under the new federal guidelines released this week by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers can require workers to receive the vaccine and prevent them from getting to work if they refuse.

“To be honest, this is the right thing for employers. I would urge other employers to purchase the vaccine as well, ”said Eric Papenfuse, Harrisburg Mayor.

The decision to order vaccinations came after about half of the city's 400 employees said they did not volunteer to be vaccinated.

"I think there will be some who will be unhappy when the vaccine is contracted, but I think once they are trained and learn more about how safe and effective the vaccine is, those concerns will be allayed," said Papenfuse.

Employees will not receive the vaccine until it is available for their respective priority group. Exceptions apply to people with valid medical or religious reasons.

Harrisburg should lead the way for other cities, Papenfuse said, by setting a good example.

"I think there is a lot of misinformation out there," he said. "It really is up to all of us to educate the public about why the vaccine is safe, why it is effective, and why it is really necessary to conquer COVID."

FOX43 reached out to other South Central Pennsylvania communities to see if city workers needed vaccination as well.

York City wrote in a statement:

“We have not made any formal decisions that employees should be given the vaccine. We continue to monitor best practices and guidelines as they evolve. We are currently working with the York City Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to determine what our sales guidelines are.

As you can imagine, the instructions keep changing. Some of our employees fit different classifications (police, fire brigade, health care bureau, etc.) than others because their exposure risk varies widely. "

Chambersburg District wrote in a statement:

“The Chambersburg neighborhood is working with WellSpan Health and Chambersburg Hospital to arrange the upcoming vaccination of our rescue workers and police officers.

Currently the community is only working with WellSpan on first aid opportunities. As we become aware of additional opportunities for other municipal workers, we will also discuss how to facilitate this process.

For example, we make it easier for all employees to get flu vaccinations every year. "

The Carlisle neighborhood wrote in a statement:

“At this time, Borough employees are not required to have the vaccine … Voluntary only.

We are currently working on the final details for the police and fire service personnel to receive and anticipate those who are expected to receive the vaccine next week.

Contact has been made with non-uniformed personnel in the district to prepare for when vaccines will become available for water, sanitation and other departments. "

The district of Gettysburg and the cities of Lancaster and Lebanon could not be reached for comment.

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