Yesterday, the Columbia City Council voted unanimously to issue a mandate requiring all city employees to be vaccinated. Any City of Columbia not vaccinated by November 1st, could face termination.
The City Council also voted that any employee who is vaccinated by November 1st will receive a one-time bonus of $500, and some employees will receive Covid-19 hazard pay in the amount of $2500. Those employees will receive this one time payment regardless of their vaccination status.
Those who chose not to get vaccinated and remain employed will be subjected to weekly testing until they get vaccinated.
Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson said during Tuesday’s council meeting that the mandate isn’t about philosophical differences of opinions on vaccines.
Wilson also went on to say the mandate is aimed toward ensuring the city continues to provide essential services to its citizens, which Wilson stated the city is not able to do if too many workers are out.
The real question to the mandate is, “is it legal?”
Since the onset of Covid-19 many legal questions have arisen. Most recently the State Supreme Court ruled that USC could issue a mask mandate as long as it was for all students and faculty. But the matter of forcing someone to get a vaccine is a completely different matter.
The argument in many such cases is it violates a persons right to chose what medical treatment they have. In the State of Washington recently a similar mandate was issued for that states law enforcement patrol (State Troopers). Many of Washington’s Troopers have stated they will walk out if they are forced to undergo this vaccine.
Many other employees across America have already left their employment under the same conditions, leaving many cities and companies short handed.
Which again does not benefit anyone.
We must also remember that simply getting the vaccine does not prevent a person from contracting Covid-19 or it’s variants.