CHICAGO (AP) — All employees of the Chicago Transit Authority must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 25, the agency announced Friday.

The CTA joined transit agencies across the country and the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois and hundreds of commercial businesses in requiring its employees to get vaccinations.

"From the onset of the pandemic, the CTA has been an essential service provider for the City of Chicago, and our number one priority has been and always will be the health and well-being of our employees and customers," CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said in a statement.

"In order for us to continue safely serving the Chicago area, it is now time for the remainder of our workforce to join the nearly 200 million Americans who are fully-vaccinated to help fight off these variants and protect our loved ones and others who cannot be vaccinated," Carter said.

Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination by the Oct. 25 deadline will face discipline in accordance with the CTA guidelines, the agency said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Aug. 26 announced Illinois health care workers and educators from kindergarten through college will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.