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Should Pima County make its workers get COVID shots?

Supervisors to decide next week
Posted at 7:30 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 22:30:07-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Should Pima County require its employees to get COVID shots? That’s the recommendation from County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.

Huckelberry is urging Pima County Supervisors to make shots mandatory when they meet next week. He recommends that employees receive their first shot by October 1st. Exceptions could be made for religious objections or medical conditions that forbid vaccination.

You can read his full memo and an analysis from the County's HR Director at this link.

Supervisor Matt Heinz is a medical doctor who treats patients in a local hospital. He says with COVID cases rising, and because it takes many weeks for vaccinations to produce immunity, he’d like to see mandatory vaccinations for County workers happen well before October.

“We can't as public servants be endangering the residents of Pima County who we serve. That makes total sense (to require vaccinations). I will be also offering a separate motion to require throughout Pima County for any healthcare workers, for as a condition of continued employment, whether it's a clinic, a hospital or whatever capacity.

District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy says he supports vaccinations and had one himself but does not think it’s right to make them mandatory for county workers.

“I think it's a very inappropriate approach to what the County Administrator is doing to try to mandate or force people by this kind of pressure to take a medical procedure that really should be the individual's choice, responsibility, and freedom to or not to, I think is wrong.”

Christy says requiring vaccinations will drive off County employees and lead to lawsuits.

County Supervisors are scheduled to vote to approve or reject the plan when they meet early next week.