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San Diego County to require new hires to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Posted at 11:29 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 09:23:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – People seeking jobs with San Diego County will be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

"We just think it's appropriate as new hires coming in that we bring in folks that are fully vaccinated,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, Chair of the county’s Board of Supervisors.

Fletcher brought the requirement to the table as an amendment to the monthly COVID briefing at Tuesday’s board meeting.

"I think we decided that it's kind of another step, you know. When you have existing employees, you work through the process with them once their existing,” Fletcher said. “But it's just much easier to tell people on the front end, 'If you're going to come work here, this is what's expected."

Tuesday's decision wasn't a unanimous one. There were two votes against the requirement, one of those from Supervisor Jim Desmond.

"To put on this new restriction that all new hires had to be vaccinated, it was an overreach. Plus, we've got sort of an unintended consequence of mandating vaccines for certain people,” Desmond said.

Desmond told ABC 10News those consequences are being seen in those opposed to vaccine mandates like healthcare workers, law enforcement and other first responders. He felt that it could play a factor in enticing people to apply for county jobs.

"We always want to get the best and brightest, the best talent that we can get. I don't want a vaccine holding that up. So, I do think it could limit the amount of people, the type of people we could hire,” Desmond said.

It’s a new wrinkle in the fold for those looking for a new job amid the pandemic. But some think it could be a benefit for the county and its employees.

"I think it's going to send a message that values trusting your doctor. And, given that almost 90 percent of eligible San Diegans have gotten a vaccine, I think there are a lot of folks out there that want a good job with purpose and meaning and want to work in a safe environment,” Fletcher said.

ABC 10News asked Fletcher if the new requirement would be put in place effective immediately, and he said that it would go into effect in the coming days.