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Police Department No Longer In Last Place When It Comes To Complying With City’s Vaccine Mandate

Now, City Council staffers — employees who work with aldermen's offices — are the least compliant with Mayor Lori Lightfoot's vaccine mandate. Still, the bulk of employees who haven't reported their status are in the Police Department.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are administered by Jewel-Osco pharmacists to union workers at the IUOE Local 399 union hall ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to discuss vaccine rollouts and union work in Chicago on April 6, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The Police Department is no longer the least-compliant city agency when it comes to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate.

As of Monday, 89.37 percent of Police Department workers have reported their vaccination status, according to city data. The department had trailed in complying with the mandate for months, and one of its unions has fought the requirement in court, though its compliance rate has slowly ticked up.

Now, City Council staffers — employees who work with aldermen’s offices, though aldermen themselves are not required to report their status — have the lowest compliance rate. Just 84.27 percent of City Council workers — or 300 out of 356 workers — have reported their vaccination status.

Still, the bulk of employees who haven’t reported their status are in the Police Department, where 1,333 workers out of 12,540 haven’t complied, according to the data. That accounts for more than 81 percent of the city workers who haven’t complied.

Overall, nearly 95 percent of all city workers — or 29,015 out of 30,651 — have reported their vaccination status as of Monday, according to the latest city data.

Of those workers, 81.52 percent are fully vaccinated.

In the Police Department, about 75 percent of workers who have reported their status have said they’re fully vaccinated. Among City Council workers, more than 95 percent of workers who have reported their status said they’re fully vaccinated.

Workers have until Dec. 31 to be fully vaccinated or be approved for an exemption under the requirement.

The mandate has faced controversy from some corners — particularly the Police Department. The Fraternal Order of Police has encouraged officers to deny the mandate. The city and union have filed dueling lawsuits against each other.

In October, a Cook County judge temporarily halted a portion of the city’s vaccine mandate for police officers.

Officers must still follow some parts of the mandate: They must report their status and get tested if they are not fully vaccinated, or the city can discipline them. But the Dec. 31 deadline for actually getting the shots is on hold pending negotiations between the Fraternal Order of Police and the city.

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