The Los Angeles County sheriff is refusing to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for his staff that went into full impact Friday, claiming he would instantly lose a bit of his workforce if he did.
“I’m not forcing anyone,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva mentioned throughout a Facebook Live Q&A on Thursday. “The issue has become so politicized, there are entire groups of employees who are willing to be fired and laid off rather than get vaccinated, so I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight.”
LA Sheriff Villanueva says that he is not going to implement a vaccine mandate, saying staff are prepared to get fired over it. “I don’t want to be in a position to lose 5, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate.” pic.twitter.com/9DNJTeJUoY
— Alene Tchekmedyian (@AleneTchek) October 7, 2021
Villanueva, who has been hostile towards masks mandates as properly, oversees the most important sheriff’s division within the nation, with round 18,000 staff. His announcement got here a day after Los Angeles city officials approved a stringent mandate that requires proof of full vaccination for staff and patrons at bars, eating places, sports activities venues and different public areas beginning Nov. 4.
Villanueva additionally cited funds cuts in his reasoning, saying that “we have to pick and choose” which county mandates to implement. The county reduce Villanueva’s $3.6 billion budget for 2021-2022 by 4%.
There does look like vaccine resistance amongst Los Angeles regulation enforcement to adjust to the rule handed in August requiring all county staff be vaccinated towards the virus. Last month, for instance, six Los Angeles Police Department officers sued over the town’s model of the rule.
Despite Villanueva’s protestations, there’s sturdy proof that imposing vaccine mandates will get vaccine-hesitant folks to alter their minds moderately than lose their jobs. Vaccination charges amongst LAPD officers have shot as much as at least 65% following the announcement a couple of mandate, the police chief mentioned this week. That’s about 20% greater than the numbers from mid-September.
It’s unclear what number of of Villanueva’s staff are vaccinated, however there’s some indication the rate is under common. In mid-August, months after vaccines had been broadly accessible to everybody, his division mentioned just 26% of its employees had been vaccinated at sheriff’s office clinics. That didn’t embody staff vaccinated elsewhere.