Demings extends requirement for Orange County employees to get vaccinated, but some remain hesitant

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The current surge of COVID-19 recently took the life of a fifth Orange County employee.

Mayor Jerry Demings said he’s growing increasingly worried about the unvaccinated people who work for him.

“I believe as their employer, it is our responsibility to protect them even from themselves when perhaps they may not,” Demings said.

READ: Protesters take to Orange County following mayor’s decision to mandate vaccines for county employees

Last week, Demings announced a one-month extension to his vaccine requirement stating employees must have at least their first dose by Sept. 30 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31.

“I have no intention of backing off the position to require this because I know that at the end of the day, it’s going to save some people’s life,” Demings said.

READ: 12 people chose to quit their jobs instead of get a vaccine. Documents reveal why

But some people say they’re being backed into a corner by their employer.

A mother of three and her husband work for the country. In a message to Channel 9′s Lauren Seabrook, she said, “The mandate truly has me scared to choose between a vaccine that I truly in my heart am not ready to take, or put the financial stability of my family in jeopardy.”

READ: First deadline for Orange County employees to get COVID-19 vaccine fast approaching

Read her full message below:

About 65% of employees have been vaccinated so far.

Demings said for those who refuse to get vaccinated, the county has “a disciplinary process and we will follow the process that’s established.”

So far, the county has approved medical or religious exemptions for 43 employees, but requests are still coming in.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.