Feb 11. marks deadline for Philly police officers to get 1 dose of COVID vaccine

On March 1, those who are unvaccinated and don't have an exemption will be placed on unvaccinated leave.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Friday marks the deadline for members of the Philadelphia Police Department to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This was the new deadline after an arbitration panel ruled in favor of the city's workforce vaccine mandate.

Officers who fail to meet the new deadline will be required to double mask or wear an N95 mask and take regular COVID-19 tests.

Those who decide to comply with the new mandate will receive a bonus of up to $500 if they become fully vaccinated by the appropriate time.

Police can apply for religious or medical exemptions, but will still be required to follow the additional protocols.

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On March 1, those who are unvaccinated and don't have an exemption will be placed on unvaccinated leave.



On March 1, those who are unvaccinated and don't have an exemption will be placed on unvaccinated leave.

From that point on, paid vacation, holiday, or comp time must be used up. However, any unpaid period of unvaccinated leave beyond 15 calendar days will be considered a break in service.

As of Feb. 1, 71% to 80% of police department members are vaccinated.

Of the 458 law enforcement line of duty deaths last year across the country, 301 of them were due to COVID-19, statistics show.

In response to the arbitration ruling, FOP Lodge #5 President John McNesby is encouraging all members who need to file an exemption need to do so at the very latest by February 18.

Now, what happens if police members do not comply?

The panel says it will meet no later than March 21 to determine the ultimate consequences.

What the arbitration boils down to is police and city employees have to get vaccinated or an exemption. If not, it's likely they could lose their job.

But city officials are hopeful it doesn't come to that.

"There could be termination, but I think the goal is to use the process we have to try to get officers vaccinated. They do that or go through the exemption process," said Rich Lazer, the city's deputy mayor for labor. "We want to treat everyone the same and they will all follow the timeline in the new FOP arbitration."

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