Allegheny County announces vaccine mandate for its employees

by PublicSource

All Allegheny County employees will have until Dec. 1 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at a Wednesday press briefing. 

To satisfy the requirement, employees must provide proof they received either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or their second shot of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines by the deadline. 

“We feel very comfortable that this is going to help protect people, protect our coworkers and each other, and protect the public.” Fitzgerald said. 

The county will provide its vaccinated employees with 10 days of paid leave if they contract COVID-19 or are directed to quarantine, Fitzgerald added. 

On Aug. 9, the county began requiring all newly hired county employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The county also required current employees who had not provided proof of vaccination to participate in regular COVID-19 testing and wear masks when in indoor county facilities. 

Nearly 74% of Allegheny County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Sept. 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported

Vaccine providers in Allegheny County have begun administering COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said at the briefing.

“We have had plenty of doses,” Bogen said. “It’s being offered all over, like I said in my comments, and it seems to be going well. We haven’t heard any complaints. We haven’t heard of people being overrun with requests.”

On Sept. 24, the CDC recommended that vaccine providers begin administering additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine to individuals over the age of 65, residents in long-term care facilities and adults who are either at high risk for experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, have jobs that put them at risk for exposure to the virus or live in communal settings. To receive a booster dose, individuals must have gotten their Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. 

To date, Allegheny County has administered more than 16,000 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since Aug. 13, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported.

 

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