Deadline arrives for some workers, students in Philadelphia to be vaccinated against COVID-19

This applies to university staff and students, hospital employees, and people who work in long-term health facilities.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Monday, November 15, 2021
Deadline arrives for some workers, students in Philly to be vaccinated
Health care workers and people at higher-education institutions in Philadelphia are now required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The city said the mandate has successfully prompted the vast majority of healthcare workers to get vaccinated.

"I think it's a good idea that we as a whole, working in the healthcare field, get fully vaccinated," said Kimberly Turner, a Jefferson Health employee.

The City of Philadelphia said institutions out of compliance risk fines and penalties, adding that it is working with employers to check compliance but surveying is taking a while.

"I understand a lot of people feel that they should have this personal choice in doing the vaccine mandate, but I feel that the hospital is doing their best steps at trying to make sure everyone is safe - patients and staff," said Morgan Shea, a Jefferson Health employee.

Temple University reports 97% of the employee population is fully vaccinated. Those who did not follow the requirement had their building access revoked and were reviewed for termination.

The school reports 96.6% of students are fully vaccinated. Those who did not comply were withdrawn from in-person classes and not permitted on campus.

"I agree with it," said Abdullah Arishi, a fourth-year Temple University student. "I think we should keep the environment safe. We don't want to go back from where we were last year and I'm absolutely on board with it."

"I think it's wonderful," said Nia McMillan, a fourth-year Temple student. "It definitely makes me feel a lot safer knowing that everyone has to have the vaccine."

In an interview Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney said more mandates will be coming.

"There will be a deadline, people will have to abide by it," Kenney said. "We will probably have some form of incentive for them to do it but at some point in time, if you're just downright refusing to get it, you're probably not going to be able to work for us anymore."

"You've seen from other places that have implemented vaccine mandates that they work," Dr. Bettigole said.