Des Moines Firefighters Argue With City Over Sick Days Due To Vaccine Side Effects


The Des Moines Firefighters Union is upset that some of its members have fallen ill after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and must use regular sick leave while recovering.

The union had reached an agreement that the city could not recover from the COVID-19 vaccine as regular sick leave. But the deal was made before anyone knew how people would react to the vaccine.

“The side effect of the shot is that our people get sick, but it’s not necessarily in the first 24 hours,” said Joe Van Haalen, president of the Des Moines Fire Union.

Van Haalen said the union had reached an agreement whereby the city would cover sick leave for firefighters 24 hours after the COVID-19 vaccination. But many firefighters work 24 hours a day, 48 hours off. Almost a dozen became ill after the 24 hour period. The city therefore made them use regular sick leave.

“It’s not something they created on their own. It was not an illness. We are exposed to all kinds of things when responding to emergency calls. So it looks like it would be really easy for the city. to go look up and say, “Hey thank you or whatever you’ve done. We appreciate that you’re ready to go out and get your shot,” “Van Haalen said.

The union didn’t go anywhere with the city and eventually sent out a tweet informing people of the disagreement.

KCCI contacted the city of Des Moines. City Manager Scott Sanders released a statement which read in part: “We are fortunate and happy to have been among the first to facilitate vaccinations in accordance with local and national guidelines. As of yesterday, the city ​​continued the conversation about what and what can be done to protect our frontline workers and help them move forward, including ongoing assessment of vaccine side effects and their impact in the workplace . This process and discussion will continue between the city and all of our employee groups. “


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