The deadline for L.A. city employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine has been extended to Dec. 18.

When the city of L.A. first passed the vaccine mandate back in August, employees were required to receive an initial dose by Sept. 7, with petitions for religious and medical exemptions sharing the same deadline. L.A. employees then had a deadline to receive their second vaccine dose in early October.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement last week that unvaccinated city employees should “prepare to lose their job.”

“The City’s employee vaccine mandate is critical to protecting the health and safety of our workforce and the Angelenos we serve,” Garcetti said. “Employees must be vaccinated by December 18, and we are putting a rigorous testing program into place in the meantime. Let me be clear: any employee who refuses to be vaccinated by this date should be prepared to lose their job.”

The city also approved procedures for medical and religious exemptions, without public comment according to NBC4.

Municipal employers may ask how long its workers have held the religious beliefs, how it “governs” other parts of their lives, and be required to show religious articles or texts that describe why the observance “conflicts” with the city’s mandate.

Those who qualify for the exemption will have a $65 weekly COVID-19 test fee reimbursed. Tests also cannot be taken independently.

The city estimates that around 73% of its municipal employees have been fully vaccinated.

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