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Charleston Mandates COVID-19 Vaccine for City Employees

FILE - vaccine_vaccination.jpg
Pan American Health Organization PAHO

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The city of Charleston, South Carolina will now require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Mayor John Tecklenberg announced Friday that all workers in the state's largest city must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, though people can still opt out for medical “and other limited” reasons.

“The city of Charleston has an obligation to our employees and to our citizens to provide a safe environment in which to do business,” Tecklenberg wrote in an email to staffers.

Charleston joins two other Lowcountry local governments — the neighboring city of North Charleston and Charleston County — in requiring the shots this week.

The mandates come less than two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine last month.

About 60% of the city’s 1,700 employees are already fully inoculated, said spokesperson Cameron Wolfsen.

According to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Charleston County as a whole boasts a more than 60% vaccination rate, the state's highest.

Less than half of eligible South Carolinians are fully vaccinated, though 57% have now received at least one dose.