Despite order, less than half of LA city employees have been vaccinated

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Although the city of Los Angeles has ordered employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, only half have done so, according to new figures released this week.

The new data shows that about half of the city's 57,000 employees have received at least one shot of vaccine, and less than half are fully vaccinated. More than 6,000 city employees are seeking exemptions for religious or medical purposes.

The City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti last month approved an ordinance requiring all city employees to get vaccinated by Oct. 19.

Here are how the largest departments break down:

Los Angeles Police Department: About half the department's 12,315 employees have been fully vaccinated.

Recreation and Parks: Of 8,091 employees, 3,075 have been fully vaccinated, or less than 40%.

Los Angeles Fire Department: About a third of the department's 3,712 employees have been fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Los Angeles considering vaccine mandate to enter indoor spaces

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Local and state agencies are approving more vaccine requirements for public spaces and schools.

Department of Water and Power: Out of 11,643 employees, only 3,501 have been vaccinated, or about 30%.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has cautioned employees about seeking exemptions for invalid reasons, warning "We will not tolerate the abuse of these exemptions by those who simply don't want to get vaccinated. To anyone thinking about filing a disingenuous exemption request, I strongly urge that you reconsider."

The city now requires all city staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with some exemptions for medical reasons and religious beliefs. Applications for those exemptions were due Monday of this week.

Those who file for an exemption and are not fully vaccinated will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19 if they regularly report to a city worksite.

About 23,000 employees have not responded to the city's request for information about their status.

About 5,600 confirmed they were not vaccinated.

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