DC boasts improved COVID vaccine rate for Fire & EMS workers

D.C. has seen a significant jump in vaccination rates among emergency personnel, according to city officials.

City Administrator Kevin Donahue said Friday that, while D.C. Fire and EMS vaccination rates had previously been below 60%, they are now at 85% for fully or partially vaccinated.

“We saw a pretty significant increase over the past two or three weeks,” Donahue said during a call to update members of the D.C. Council.

“The balance of those who have not (gotten vaccinated), almost every one of them, has an exemption requested as pending,” he added. “And once that exemption request is completed, and certainly if it is not approved, they will have to then go get vaccinated.”

Donahue said he expects the 85% will “creep above 90% and 95%.”

D.C. has so far received just under 300 religious exemption requests from workers.

None of the requests have yet been approved.

Donahue said if exemptions are denied, the employee must get the shot.

Of those employees who refuse to report their status, the city will suspend them, and workers could lose their jobs if they remain non-compliant, Donohue said.

The deadline for front-line workers in D.C. to be vaccinated was Sept. 30.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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