Monday marks deadline for Washington state employees to be fully vaccinated

Moderna Says Its Covid 19 Shot Works In Kids As Young As 12
AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate deadline for state workers is on Monday and some people could lose their jobs.

The deadline for state employees to be fully vaccinated is Monday, Oct. 18, according to the mandate. Employees who aren’t vaccinated or don’t have approved exemptions could lose their jobs.

Those who either got a medical or religious exemption will get reasonable accommodation and not be subject to “non-disciplinary dismissal,” according to the governor’s office.

Who’s included in the mandate? 

  • State employees
  • Higher education employees
  • K-12 employees
  • Childcare employees
  • Most health and long-term-care providers

Places like Central Valley School District have been able to vaccinate their staff or get them accommodations for their exemptions, and retain their workers. However, others like Spokane Public Schools have lost four employees over the mandate.

Accommodations for employees who got exemptions will include wearing N-95 masks, face shields with surgical masks and other PPE. SPS also said accommodations included job restructuring and reassignment.

Some people have filed lawsuits over the mandate, including 25 Spokane firefighters who say the mandate violates their civil rights. The lawsuit claims “the mayor, the fire chief, and the City of Spokane refuse to provide religious or medical exemptions for the city’s firefighters, despite accepting their exemptions, to the arbitrary demand that they become vaccinated by October 18, 2021.”

As of Oct. 11, 88 percent of health care workers reported getting the vaccine. Nearly 90 percent of state employees got the vaccine on Oct. 4.

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, state workers had to receive their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Oct. 4.

RELATED: Spokane firefighters sue over vaccine mandate 

READ: What you need to know about the deadline for Washington’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate 

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