More than 2,000 LAPD employees have requested religious exemption from the citywide COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The Associated Press reported an estimated 2,600 employees, made up of both officers and staff members, sought the exemption before the September 13 request deadline.

On August 18, the city of Los Angeles approved the COVID-19 requirement for all city employees, which includes the police dept., as well as other first responders.

In order to be compliant with the requirement, employees will have to receive their first dose by September 7 in order to leave time for the required second dose, plus the 14-day waiting period needed to be considered fully vaccinated. For those receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, employees will have until October 5 to receive it.

It is estimated that around 6,000 city employees in Los Angeles are seeking religious exemption with at least 57,000 having at least one vaccine dose.

On Monday, six LAPD employees filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Michel Moore, asking a federal judge to overturn the mandate for city employees, citing the vaccines have not shown to be more effective than immunity formed from previous COVID-19 infections.

“The city does not and cannot point to any evidence that vaccinated individuals have longer lasting or more complete immunity than those who have recovered from COVID,” according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.

Within the LAPD, 12,315 employees have been fully vaccinated, making up roughly half the department.

Since the start of the pandemic, the LAPD has reported 3,000 positive COVID-19 cases, 10 of which died.

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