HAMMOND — The Hammond Common Council has expressed support for Mayor Thomas McDermott's executive orders requiring all newly hired city employees, and all current employees who apply for a departmental transfer or promotion, be vaccinated.

During a Monday meeting the council unanimously adopted two resolutions supporting each of McDermott's executive orders, which were signed in mid-November. Before the vote, Hammond Chief of Staff Philip Taillon said the orders are designed to protect both city employees and residents.

"Despite lots of information that is given out there, the fact is this: Fully vaccinated people are less likely to get COVID, they are less likely to spread the virus and they are also less likely to have severe effects from COVID," Taillon said. "Our employees interact with the residents of the city of Hammond in lots of different ways, so if they are better protected, the community is better protected as well.”

Executive Order 21-45 mandates that anyone hired by the city of Hammond will have to report their vaccination status and provide proof of vaccination with a signed affidavit stating their statement is true. Similarly, Executive Order 21-47 requires all employees who apply for a transfer or promotion within a city department provide proof of vaccination with a signed affidavit. According to the order, employees receiving transfers or promotions governed by a collective bargaining agreement or contract, such as employees who are automatically promoted for serving a certain number of years, are exempt from the order.

Both executive orders state that those who request exemption for religious or medical reasons must submit a written request to the director of personnel.
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