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Palo Alto mulls COVID vaccine requirement for city workers

Original post made on Aug 9, 2021

As Palo Alto moves ahead with reopening in-person services at City Hall, the city is considering whether to institute a vaccine requirement for city employees, a move that has already been made by Santa Clara County and San Francisco.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 9, 2021, 2:59 PM

Comments (30)

Posted by No heat
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 9, 2021 at 9:31 pm

No heat is a registered user.

The reality is that the intense antivax attitudes by the police are correlated with the racist and violent propensities which have been costing our city millions in settlements to the victims.

If a vaccination requirement sends those cops elsewhere, we'll have more money in the city budget the services we actually want.

I urge city council to follow the County Health Officer's recommendations and implement a vaccination requirement for city employees ASAP.


Posted by Local
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 10, 2021 at 5:48 am

Local is a registered user.

Good point above. While we are always sad to lose employees, those that are fiercely anti-vax are honestly not ideal employees. I understand medical and sincere religious exemptions, but others that refuse to vaccinate are probably likely to hold other unpleasant views.


Posted by Sam Taylor
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2021 at 10:19 am

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Vaccinations for those dealing directly with the public should be seriously considered and encouraged but not mandated as it is a violation of one's Constitutional rights most notably 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'

If one feels or believes that mandatory vaccinations infringe upon these rights, then they should retain the option of going forward with the innoculations or withholding from them.

This is America and not a police state.


Posted by Elle Taylor
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Elle Taylor is a registered user.

The Covid-19 virus is mutating at such a rapid pace that scientists and immunologists will have a difficult time keeping up with the variants.

After two shots of Pfizer/Moderna or one shot of the J&J vaccines, the potential continuance and recommended requirements of having to get additional booster shots is going to get old and the public revolt against all public health mandates will begin to unfold even more so.

Enough is enough...get your vaccinations and don't worry about the future.

We are all going to die eventually and from something we may (or may not) have any control over.

The sky is not falling.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

If they can't protect the public by being vaccinated, they shouldn't be there. What does their right to privacy have to do with anything?? That's totally hedging the issue!


Posted by Barron Parker Too
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Barron Parker Too is a registered user.

Always ugly to see such knee-jerk anti-police comments! They represent a tiny, noisy, rude fraction of the readers.

And then there is the missing 10%: 60% vax'd, 6% not vax'd, 24% decline to state. Gennady needs to check his arithmetic.

But it does seem that there is a problem when 24% of the officers are unwilling to state their vax status INTERNALLY. In such a situation, to get accurate data, it needs to be collected anonymously.


Posted by MBH
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

MBH is a registered user.

Get your vaccinations. If everyone had done so, we would not be dealing with rafts of sick children and hospitals crammed full of Covid patients. Not to mention increasing numbers of deaths. Other than a truly viable medical reason not to get vaccinated, the rest of the reasons being trotted out by deniers are bogus. How many more people have to die? And suffer for months if not years from this virus?


Posted by Bette Layne
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2021 at 1:08 pm

Bette Layne is a registered user.

Medical and religious considerations aside, maybe the estimated 40% of unvaccinated PAPD officers are unconcerned with the pandemic and its potential ramifications.


Posted by Corey Levens
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 10, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Corey Levens is a registered user.

There is absolutely no reason or excuse, legal or otherwise, for not mandating that all Palo Alto employees be vaccinated. It is for the safety and security of our community. Anyone claiming that it is a violation of one's constitutional rights has no understanding of the Constitution or what it means to live in a polity governed by our Constitution.


Posted by John
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2021 at 6:35 am

John is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Neal
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 11, 2021 at 9:25 am

Neal is a registered user.

For your information, the phase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is part of the Declaration of Independence. It is not part of the U.S. Constitution and therefore has no legal standing. BTW the United States of America is not a police state.


Posted by Wyatt Richter
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 11, 2021 at 11:47 am

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[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 11, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Wonder if the number of anti-vax cops also includes the 5 snowflakes who were "triggered" by the Black Lives Matter mural and had to sue to get funds to pay their therapists.


Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 11, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@Neal Loved your reminder to Sam Taylor that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is NOT in the U.S. Constitution. I myself have a copy on my bookshelf, and I wonder how many ranting about some clauses actually have ever read it.


Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

Why would anyone rely on an unvaccinated police officer to protect their safety? Basically, if anyone seeks help from the police, why should they be forced to risk the lives of their children who are too young to be vaccinated, or their elderly parents who can't be vaccinated due to immunosuppression related to many conditions associated with aging?

City Council, do your job. Follow the PAUSD School Board's recent actions: public employees must be vaccinated or else test every day.

It's common sense. Vaccination by *everyone* medically capable is the only existing way to beat the pandemic and ensure the safety of our children and other loved ones for whom the vaccine is not available. City council: do you care if our babies live or die? Is the convenience of an officer paid by US, and sworn to protect us, truly more important than the actual safety of the people whom these officers are sworn to protect? It's madness.

Do better.


Posted by VaxMan
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 12, 2021 at 7:38 am

VaxMan is a registered user.

The viral mutations and breakthrough infections currently at play (regardless of whether one is vaccinated or not) makes the Covid SARS-2 virus a formidable public health adversary to overcome.

With talk of a 3rd booster shot now under discussion, the coronavirus is pretty much here to stay in varying degrees as herd immunity is now an impossibility due to emerging variants (i.e. Delta, Lamda et al).

There are no guarantees in life and the vaccines are merely a band-aid for what has now become a global hemmorage.

Nevertheless, get vaccinated ASAP as you have nothing to lose and the shots are free.


Posted by Nowhere To Run
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2021 at 10:02 am

Nowhere To Run is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Nancy Lowe
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 12, 2021 at 2:27 pm

Nancy Lowe is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by There goes the neighborhood
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2021 at 2:57 pm

There goes the neighborhood is a registered user.

Imagine you carelessly don't come to full stop at an arterial stop sign. An alert Palo Alto policeman pulls you over to give you a ticket. Stay in the car, hands on the wheel as the policeman comes to your car window, taps it and leans in to ask for your license and proof of insurance.
You have a 4 in 10 chance in this face-to-face encounter that the policeman is unvaccinated or "declines to state". Unacceptable odds! Who know his Covid carrier status or that of others he has dealt with during his shift.

The City Council and City Manager are on the right track to require vaccination of the City staff dealing directly with the public


Posted by Dennis Petry
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 8:12 am

Dennis Petry is a registered user.

Unless a PAPD officer is fully and verifiably vaccinated + wearing a face mask, any citation should be dismissed in a court of law.

And any potential misdemeanor/felony arrest should only be conducted by officers meeting these Covid-related guidelines as well.

Suspects should not be unnecessarily exposed to Covid-19 and their attorneys (upon confirmation of an unvaxed arresting officer) should reserve the right to sue the city for health endangerment and to have the case dropped.


Posted by BobH
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:09 pm

BobH is a registered user.

Yes, all city employees should be vaccinated! It's not that complicated. They all interact with the public, probably more so than most individuals.

I am please the fire department has high vaccination rates. I am very disappointed that the police department doesn't have high vaccination rates. The city could should require all employees to be vaccinated.


Posted by Bill Bucy
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2021 at 8:49 am

Bill Bucy is a registered user.

I've yet to read of a legitimate medical reason for not being vaccinated. Assuming I didn't miss something then declining to get jabbed is merely an individual decision.

No right granted citizens in the constitution or by common practice is absolute. The pandemic is a perfect example of an event that demands personal wants and needs be deemed secondary to the common good.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 15, 2021 at 10:31 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Tick tock, tick tock. Palo Alto "leaders" -- time's a'wasting to get folks vaccinated.


Posted by Pops9
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2021 at 8:33 pm

Pops9 is a registered user.

My understanding is that Palo Alto pays well above the mean in police salaries. I assume that means that the city attempts to hire and develop officers with better judgment than departments that pay average or worse salaries. It appears that our higher wages are not translating to good judgment, at least for the 40% that are either unvaccinated or seem to have a problem stating their status.

Palo Alto's police department has also talked about the importance of community policing. What is obvious given Palo Alto's vaccination rates is that a significant slice of the police department, at least in this instance, holds very different views than the community.

If the city council chooses to impose a mandate, perhaps that will filter out officers with less than ideal judgment and/or divergent views from the community.


Posted by PST
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:28 am

PST is a registered user.

The time for consideration of requiring all city employees to be vaccinated has come and gone months ago. At the very least we deserve an explanation from any city council member who has not agreed to act on this yesterday. There must be no further delays without explanation. Those employees who refuse can go work somewhere else.


Posted by Cary Rosenzweig
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:24 am

Cary Rosenzweig is a registered user.

I’m a 26-year resident of Palo Alto. It’s embarrassing to have city employees, especially police employees, who refuse to be vaccinated during this pandemic. Vaccination is both to protect oneself and to protect others.

It is a contradiction for some police to claim to protect the public while threatening it with increased odds of infection. Once again, a minority of cops defame the good, responsible cops.

I support mandates for all city employees to be vaccinated. Enough with the crazy anti-vax conspiracy theorists. True medical exceptions, of course, should be considered.


Posted by nac
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 19, 2021 at 4:01 am

nac is a registered user.

It's really surprising that this is still being mulled after such a long time. Time to just get on with it and stop mulling.


Posted by Chase Bellamy
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 19, 2021 at 7:36 am

Chase Bellamy is a registered user.

With the recent CDC recommendation that fully vaccinated individuals receive a booster shot 8 months later for added protection against the Delta variant and subsequent viral mutations, maybe this reluctance to get innoculated is a humanitarian gesture on the part of law enforcement...to ensure that the vaccine inventories remain readily available and accessable to the general public?


Posted by Lillian Steinberg
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 19, 2021 at 9:27 am

Lillian Steinberg is a registered user.

> a humanitarian gesture on the part of law enforcement...to ensure that the vaccine inventories remain readily available and accessable to the general public?

The World Health Organization is
already condemning the United States for hording Covid-19 vaccines to implement the next round of vaccinations (boosters) while many 3rd world inhabitants have yet to receive their first shot.


Posted by Roger Azarian
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 19, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Roger Azarian is a registered user.

How about this...the U.S. government sets aside three doses of Covid-19 vax for each citizen/resident BUT if they chose to go unvaxed, their vaccine allotment is passed on to someone living in the 3rd world.

We'll give the unvaxed a net 30 days to get fully innoculated and if they opt out, their vaccines go elsewhere.


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