San Diego County Approves Vaccine Mandate for New Hires

The mandate adds a layer to the county's existing vaccine guidance for employees

FILE - In this March 29, 2021 file photo, a worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Metairie, La. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging all pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Wednesday, Aug. 11. The advice comes as hospitals in hot spots around the U.S. see disturbing numbers of unvaccinated mothers-to-be seriously ill with the virus.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

In a 3 to 2 vote Tuesday, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a vaccine mandate for new hires.

The mandate adds a layer to the county's existing vaccine guidance for employees.

In August, the county required employees to either be fully vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests. The mandate only applies to new hires, according to Supervisor Joel Anderson, who dissented alongside Supervisor Jim Desmond.

"The County has provided current staff the ability to opt-out of COVID-19 vaccination through weekly testing and masking requirements and new hires should have the same choice and rights afforded to our current workers. My worry is that we will lose out on qualified, talented people due to their personal rights being violated," Anderson said in a statement.

In a tweet, Desmond explained why he voted no.

"Just now, I voted against requiring vaccines for all new hires to the County of San Diego. I've gotten vaccinated, but if you don't want to, I'll fight for your rights too," he said.

It is unclear when the county's mandate for new hires takes effect.

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