CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced that, effective Oct. 15, the City of Chicago will require all city employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, joining many other major municipalities and government agencies in taking this important preventive step. While masking and social distancing requirements in the workplace remain, the best protection against COVID-19 is vaccination.
"As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, we must take every step necessary and at our disposal to keep everyone in our city safe and healthy," said Lightfoot. "Getting vaccinated has been proven to be the best way to achieve that and make it possible to recover from this devastating pandemic. And so, we have decided to join other municipalities and government agencies across the nation, including the U.S. military, who are making this decision to protect the people who are keeping our cities and country moving. We have also been in close communication with our partners in the labor movement to create a vaccination policy that is workable, fair and effective,"
"Fully vaccinated" means two weeks past the second dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Employees will be asked to submit their proof of vaccination via a secure, online COVID-19 vaccine portal.
"We have worked closely with our partners to ensure that the reporting system is secure, effective, and confidential," said Commissioner Christopher Owen, Chicago Department of Human Resources. "Human resource leads within every city department are prepared and available to assist employees through this process and answer their questions."
This policy applies to all city employees and volunteers. Employees can apply for medical or religious exemption from this policy. Such requests will be reviewed by the Department of Human Resources on a case-by-case basis.
"The data shows that getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and those you come in contact with from serious illness, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19," said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. "Adopting and implementing this requirement is the responsible, common-sense approach, which is why we're seeing so many other government agencies, companies, institutions, and organizations pursue this course of action."
More than 70 percent (more than 1.6 million) of Chicago residents over 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, health care offices, and through special events across the City at no cost to the public. No insurance or government ID are required to receive a vaccination. To learn more, visit Chicago.gov/COVIDvax or call 312-746-4835.