Thousands of Los Angeles police officers refuse COVID vaccine, request exemption

COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card on desk, coronavirus immunization certificate and surgical mask. Top view of paper medical form required for travel. Concept of corona virus vaccine, safety, tourism.
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As the push to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 continues, many unvaccinated Americans are fighting to stay that way -- unvaccinated. A new report has found that employees at the Los Angeles Police Department have filed what experts consider to be an "alarming" number of vaccine exemption requests.

The report found that more than 3,000 employees at the LAPD requested an exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Forty percent of city employees have not yet reported their vaccination status, despite the deadline to do so passing a month ago. With so many employees failing to provide their vaccination information, the numbers of those failing to adhere to the vaccination mandate could change quite a bit.

The requests for exemptions came after President Joe Biden’s mandate for employers with more than 100 employees and after the Los Angeles City Council voted to require city employees to get the vaccine.

The city of Los Angeles and surrounding counties have been among the first for most mandates throughout the pandemic. The Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to require students to get vaccinated for COVID-19, the largest district in the country to do so.

The city has also been host to numerous protests, including some that have turned violent. One in mid-August turned bloody when anti-vaxxers and proud boys clashed with counter-protestors.

When it comes to the Los Angeles Police Department, employees are not as willing as the rest of the city to get vaccinated, records show. More than 2,600 employees have indicated their plans to file for religious exemptions, and 350 have plans to file medical exemptions.

The deadline to file for an exemption was Monday night. Reports found that a quarter of the LAPD’s 12,000-plus employees said they would seek an exemption compared to 2-3 percent of workforces for other city departments, NBC Los Angeles reported.

More than half of the LAPD’s officers are currently vaccinated for COVID-19, the L.A. Times reported. The L.A. Times also noted that there have been ten deaths from the virus in the department throughout the pandemic.

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