Nearly 40 percent of state workers in California have remained unvaccinated against Chinese coronavirus, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) “shot-or-test” vaccine mandate.
According to data from the state Human Resources Department cited by the Sacramento Bee, the vaccination rate among state workers is lower than the state’s general population.
“Fewer than two-thirds of state workers — about 62% — were vaccinated as of Oct. 7, according to preliminary figures provided by department spokeswoman Camille Travis. That compares to a rate of about 72% among all Californians, according to state data,” according to the report.
Newsom, who during a CNN interview compared unvaccinated people to drunk drivers because they put themselves and others at risk, announced the mandate in July and California was the first state in the nation to impose a vaccine mandate on state employees and healthcare workers.
The new policy for state workers took effect August 2, and the policy for health care workers and congregate facilities took effect on August 9, with health care facilities having until August 23 to come into full compliance.
According to the Sacramento Bee report, employee data is incomplete and only accounts for roughly 213,000 out of 238,000 state employees — the actual vaccination rate could be greater than 62 percent.
“But the relatively low rate identified so far suggests many workers weren’t moved by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July orders to workers to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing,” the report states.
The report continued:
Several of the largest state departments shared vaccination rates for their staff: 52% of California Highway Patrol employees, 60% of Department of Motor Vehicles employees and 60% of prison employees have received the shots. Caltrans reports a higher rate, with 70% of its employees vaccinated against COVID-19.
Newsom’s mandate for health care workers is much more strict than for state employees — health care workers do not have a testing option and must get vaccinated unless they obtain a religious or medical exemption. After August 5, vaccination rates for Sacramento-area health care workers reportedly surged past 90 percent.