City of Oakland workers must be vaccinated, proving status by end of November

City of Oakland workers are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or prove valid reasons for exemption, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday. And the legislation requires employees to submit their vaccination status to to the city no later than Nov. 29. 

That means you’d need to get your second shot, or just the one with Johnson & Johnson, two weeks before that on Nov. 15. 

This also applies to interns and volunteers, but not anyone in the public just visiting places like City Hall. 

There are limited exemptions – either for a valid medical reason or a sincerely held religious belief. If an exemption is approved, that employee would need to do regular COVID testing. The city administration already has a mandatory vaccination policy that started Monday. This vote on Tuesday just further supports that.  

MORE: Unvaccinated SFMTA employees want less strict vaccine mandate

"There’s no ifs ands or buts," Councilman Dan Kalb said at the meeting. "People have all sorts of reasons why they’re not vaccinated. Some reasons may seem very logical and understandable to many people, but they should still get vaccinated. I think we all know that and it’s our responsibility to share that information."

According to City Administrator Ed Reiskin, about 76% of the population 12 and older are fully vaccinated, which means 1 out of every 4 Oaklanders are not. 

"That’s a lot of employees potentially that are not yet vaccinated," he said. 

Kalb, who introduced the legislation, wants the city to lead by example. Under this new policy, city workers can get two hours of paid time for going to get vaccinated.  

And the city set up three vaccination clinics to try to make the shots easier to find.