The Saint Paul City Council will vote on a policy on August 18 that would require all city employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The policy was introduced on August 11 by Ward 3 council member Chris Tolbert. He said it would be consistent with similar requirements sought by the state and Ramsey County. The state policy was announced last week, while the county approved its policy on August 17.

Tolbert noted that many city employees work with vulnerable populations, including children too young to be vaccinated. He said that a vaccination requirement is part of acting as a “responsible government.” Vaccines are not yet available for children under age 12.

Other council members agreed that the requirement is the right thing to do. Ward 1 council member Dai Thao said he contracted the virus between his first and second vaccination shots, but felt his illness was less intense than it might have been because he had been immunized.

If city employees cannot receive vaccines for religious or health reasons, they could be required to provide proof of regular testing. Several Saint Paul employers have already imposed similar requirements.

— Jane McClure


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