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A small percentage of city employees are seeking coronavirus vaccine exemptions

The Queen’s Health Systems

Most city employees are fully vaccinated, but a few people are seeking exemptions.

At the beginning of October, 87% of city employees were reported to be fully vaccinated, and another 3% received their first dose.

Honolulu’s Department of Human Resources said it's received nearly 1,000 vaccine exemption requests so far — only a third of the requests have been fully approved due to delays.

City employees can choose a medical or religious exemption, or both. Religion is the most common reason.

"We need to ensure that the requests are properly cataloged. We gotta log them in," said Noel Ono, director for the Department of Human Resources. "After the staff reviews it, it comes to me. Basically, I sign off on it. Then it goes back to a different staff, and the staff needs to log it in so that we ensure we have this paper trail."

For more information, visit oneoahu.org.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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