AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The City does not have a vaccine mandate for its workforce but as COVID continues to spike, some city leaders believe it should.
To get more people getting shots, Augusta commissioners approved a $100 vaccine incentive program, but some would like to go a step further when it comes to the city employees being vaccinated. “Should they be mandated?”
“I believe they should be mandated to take the vaccine, but it goes back to individual rights,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
The City Administrator says 67% of city workers are vaccinated but COVID continue to rage. This month, a 28-year-old Augusta 911 officer died from COVID, and some city leaders see mandating vaccines as one way to slow the disease.
You want every city worker vaccinated?”
“Yes, yes”, said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
“Can that be forced or mandated or required?”
“Again, city workers should be vaccinated we should be taking this vaccination super serious the difference between folks who are dying on vents who are surviving is the vaccination,” said Commissioner Johnson.
But Mayor Hardie Davis doesn’t think a vaccine mandate is needed.
Almost 70% out of 2,800 plus employees have already been vaccinated, we will make a push internally within the organization to get the rest of our employees vaccinated,” said Mayor Davis.
Even with the rise in cases, commissioners continue to meet in person, however the mayor says a new safety measure will be put in place.
“The one shift will be going back to masks requirements,” said the mayor.
Of course, any vaccine mandate could run afoul of Governor Kemp’s Executive Order that prohibits state agencies in Georgia from requiring vaccine passports.