Most Tampa city employees choose to be vaccinated under new policy


TAMPA (WFLA) – The city of Tampa has nearly 5,000 employees on Thursday they were required to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or to show they have COVID antibodies from exposure to the virus, or they would have to submit to weekly COVID testing and wear a mask while inside.

The new vaccine policy was announced by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Aug. 25 and has wide support from the city council.

“When you are a young person, your parents have to take you to get certain inoculations before you can even go to school. So now we are trying to prevent somebody from passing away by giving a vaccination that is proven,” said Council Member Charlie Miranda.

Councilman John Dingfelder says he’s not aware of many employees complaining about the policy.

“I’ve seen a couple of emails floating around of employees complaining, but we have five thousand employees and I think I’ve seen two emails. One of the people who were objecting were an inspector. He’s the type of person who’s going into people’s homes. That’s the type of person who needs to have a shot and make sure they are safe and healthy,” said Dingfelder.

Councilman Orlando Gudes says he also supports the policy and he strongly urges people to get the vaccine.

“I don’t want folks working with the public who are not vaccinated maybe, possibly giving it to the public this disease, it’s just common sense to me,” said Gudes.

The city says they don’t have the final numbers on how many people have chosen to be vaccinated, but appears most are.

“I think the net effect is positive, clearly the barometrics of the numbers I’m seeing so far is that the vaccine counts are in the 70, 75 percentile based on the different portfolios that are coming across, but we have 47-hundred employees,” said city Chief of Staff John Bennett.

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