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Some state, county workers gearing up for a legal fight over governor’s vaccine mandate

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 6:28 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 9:07 PM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There’s still confusion over how the governor’s vaccine mandate for state and county workers will work and be enforced.

Meanwhile, some employees are planning to take government officials to court.

One Maui firefighter, who asked to remain anonymous, says despite the mandate he and several other county and state employees refuse to get the COVID vaccine — even if it means losing their jobs. “I’ve already talked to a lot of people who said they would move to a different state with more rights,” he said.

He said state and county workers who are against the vaccine have stayed silent out of fear of losing their jobs. They are now planning to take legal action because they feel there is no other choice.

“I feel like we do have a huge uphill battle,” he said.

The COVID vaccine has proven safe and is available for everyone 12 and up. The vast majority of those contracting COVID in the state are unvaccinated.

And more than 90% of all those hospitalized with the virus have not had the shot.

Attorney Michael Green has taken calls from those against the mandates.

He said he wants to “slow the train down.”

“This might be the most important case that I ever handle,” he said.

The governor and mayors announced the vaccine requirements Thursday, saying that government workers must provide their vaccination status by Aug. 16.

Unvaccinated workers will be required to test weekly.

It’s still unclear how exemptions will work for medical, religious, or other reasons.

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