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D.C. Fire and EMS Tops in Requests for Religious Exemption from COVID Vaccine

D.C. City Administrator Kevin Donahue says most of the requests for religious exemption from coronavirus vaccination have come from the Fire and EMS Department.

Donahue said 475 requests have been made, with 419 being from Fire and EMS employees, WTOP reported. He said none of the requests have been denied as of yet and are being considered “under the deliberation and scrutiny that are required under federal law.”

The Bowser administration has ordered all licensed health care workers, including firefighters, to get at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 30 or risk losing their jobs.

Donahue said city workers will be given a few weeks to comply, with reminders and conferences to come before disciplinary action is taken.

He added that the goal is to vaccinate people, “not to punish,” and that any punitive actions such as suspensions won’t occur until October, WTOP reported.

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