No Erie County vaccine mandate despite FDA’s approval of Pfizer vaccine

Local News

While there is no mandate for county employees, local businesses could soon mandate their workers get vaccinated.

On Monday, Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper announced a mask mandate for Erie County schools. She said it’s the best way to keep young students safe.

“There’s also great studys showing that masking works if both people are wearing a mask the spread of disease is very rare,” Dahlkemper said.

While there is now a mask mandate for schools in Erie county, there is currently no vaccine mandate.

“In County government we do have a number of different unions that we have to negotiate things with,” Dahlkemper said. “So, we would have to work with our unions to make that possible, so we hope that we can get to the vaccine rate we really want, simply by incentives.”

The FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine could lead local employers to mandate workers to get vaccinated.

Currently, there is no vaccine mandate in place for local hospital staff, but representatives from UPMC believe this could change.

“Right now, UPMC does not mandate that our employees or our health care workers get vaccinated,” said Gregory Beard, vice president of Medical Affairs at UPMC. “That, of course, remains under consideration.”

Pennsylvania’s Physician General, Denise Johnson, said this approval could change employers’ vaccination policies.

“Having the FDA solidifies the safety…recommending the vaccine.”

Several local universities also do not have a vaccine policy. However, Mercyhurst University is one of the few to embrace a vaccine mandate for students..

The County Executive said there is room for private businesses to implement a vaccine mandate, but one does not exist right now for school faculty or Erie County employees.

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