The three shows of NBC's One Chicago are on the way back to Wednesday nights in the fall, but Chicago Med at least isn't just back to business as usual. The hit medical drama will reportedly require the cast and more to receive the COVID vaccine in order to work on Season 7. The vaccine mandate on Med raises a question: will Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. do the same, when all three shows share a universe and sometimes cast members?
Chicago Med will mandate vaccinations for actors and others working on Season 7, according to Deadline, citing an email from production companies Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television to everybody working in Zone A. "Zone A" is comprised of the actors as well as members of the staff and crew who work closely with them.
The Zone A workers have until August 11 to get at least one shot, which leaves less than a week for any who haven't already started the process. The second dose is required by September 10. Notably, there will be exceptions made for disability and religious beliefs, although on an individual basis following a review by HR.
Although vaccine mandates are not common for TV shows just yet, Chicago Med makes sense as a series to require the shots. The show is set almost entirely within the enclosed hospital set without many outdoor scenes, and Med actually had to shut down production early into work on Season 6 last year due to a positive COVID test, bringing Season 6 filming to a halt for two weeks.
Interestingly, the doctors and nurses of Med all got their vaccines in-universe during Season 6, and pandemic precautions at Med on the show significantly loosened up over the course of the season. With the real-life vaccine mandate for Season 7, it's possible that Med will be able to avoid any shutdowns. So what about Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.?
There is no news at the time of writing about Fire and P.D. mandating vaccines, but both of those shows are also produced by Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, so what applies to production in Chicago for Med may well turn out to apply to Fire and P.D. as well. Like Med, Fire had to suspend production on Season 9 last year after positive COVID tests. P.D. was the only One Chicago series to film the 2020-2021 TV season without a production shutdown.
That said, both Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. are far less enclosed than Chicago Med, aside from instances like Fire's bottle episode of Season 9 and any P.D. episodes that have the cops of the Intelligence Unit spending a lot of time on car stakeouts and/or in the interrogation room. It's possible that precautions deemed necessary for Med with its hospital set might not be considered necessary for the more sprawling Fire and P.D. Med is also the only one of the three shows that doesn't necessarily need to pick up where the previous season left off, and could go for a time jump.
Only time will tell if Fire and P.D. receive vaccine mandates like Chicago Med, but all three shows are currently scheduled to premiere next month. Chicago Wednesdays return to NBC starting on September 22, with Chicago Med Season 7 at 8 p.m. ET, Chicago Fire Season 10 at 9 p.m. ET, and Chicago P.D. Season 9 at 10 p.m. ET. The whole Dick Wolf universe will return to TV in the same week, so be sure to check out our fall premiere schedule for what to watch and when to watch it!