LA Employee COVID Vaccination Data Unclear

Missing and duplicate submissions have clouded the full picture of how many city workers are vaccinated and how many will ask for religious or medical exemptions.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Ten days after the first reporting deadline in the city of LA's mandatory vaccination program for employees, when officials said they expected to have the clearest picture yet of their workforce’s vaccination rate, it appears the system set up to collect the data has allowed employees to submit multiple, sometimes conflicting, requests for exemptions, and thousands of employees have yet to respond at all.

As a result, the initial data released by Mayor Eric Garcetti's office Tuesday likely includes some inaccurate numbers of exemption requests that will be corrected as the data is "cleaned up" by city analysts.

Several city and labor union officials knowledgeable about the effort, who were not authorized to speak publicly, told NBC4's I-Team that in the rush to collect vaccination proof and initial requests for religious or medical exemptions, the internal form used for data collection did not "lock out" duplicate requests sent by a single employee, so several hundred workers in various department submitted requests for both religious and medical exemptions and were counted twice.

The city extended the initial employee reporting deadline from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13 after thousands of workers failed to respond. Labor officials said some of those employees may have been on vacation and some were working remotely.

The I-Team first reported Monday that more than 2,300 LAPD employees had indicated they planned to request religious exemptions from the vaccine, and after removing duplicate and incomplete requests, the officials said Thursday that number could be closer to 1,980, though as of early this week 3,856 LAPD employees had still not submitted their proof or exemption requests.

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