This might come as a surprise, but 40% of California state employees are unvaccinated despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive to mandate the jab or be subjected to regular testing.
Newsom issued this new directive in July following a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. At the time, he said, “We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant.”
Still months later, less than two-thirds of state workers, or 62%, were vaccinated, according to The Sacramento Bee. The figure is much lower than the state’s overall rate of 72%.
Human Resources Department spokeswoman Camille Travis said her agency has only compiled 89% of state employee vaccination status. She said the data so far suggests some state employees weren’t compelled to get jabbed after Newsom’s directive.
Some of the state’s largest departments shared vaccination rates: 52% of California Highway Patrol employees, 60% of Department of Motor Vehicles employees, and 60% of prison employees have received the shots. California Department of Transportation has the highest with 70%.
Newsom’s mandatory jab, or be forced to regular testing for state employees, is less stringent than those of health care workers who have been forced to get the vaccine unless they had a medical exemption or religious claim. One emerging drawback of mandatory jabs, with no consideration for regular testing nor naturally-acquired immunity, are reports that a third of all hospitals in the state are experiencing critical staffing shortages because engineers, janitorial staff, respiratory therapists, nurses, midwives, physical therapists, and technicians have either staged strikes or have left the job over the mandate.