Credit: Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

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After hesitating to enact a universal mandate, Philadelphia announced on Nov. 19 that all city employees and contractors must get vaccinated for COVID.

The new rule includes employees represented by unions, who had not fallen under the previous rule as the Kenney administration negotiated with labor leaders. Municipal workers who don’t have a valid religious or medical exemption must now be fully vaccinated by Jan. 14.

“As public servants, we bear a responsibility to mitigate the harm that would result from inadvertent transmission of COVID-19 to our colleagues and the public and to set an example for other organizations and companies,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “We owe it to our city — and to ourselves — to do all we can to keep us all safe.”

How many are already vaccinated? The numbers captured by the city’s self-reporting system were not considered accurate; some have called it difficult to use. So the Philadelphia Department of Health began cross-checking city employee records with other vaccine records.

Using this method, epidemiologists were able to create an overall estimate. At the end of October over 65% of city workers, or two-thirds, had been vaccinated.

Officials also assembled percent vaccinated ranges for each of Philly’s major city departments (it’s ranges instead of exact figures to protect staff privacy in smaller departments, per a city statement).

The figures being reported are minimums, and could be higher, said Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole, because they don’t include people who got their vaccine outside of Philadelphia.

Check out the latest stats in the chart below.

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Danya Henninger

Danya Henninger is director of Billy Penn at WHYY, where she oversees the team, all editorial decisions, and all revenue generation — including the...