Holdouts dig in as NYC vaccine mandate takes effect

New York City’s vaccination mandate for city workers took effect Monday amid fierce resistance among a minority of workers in a few critical public safety jobs

Via AP news wire
Monday 01 November 2021 13:49
Virus Outbreak NYC Vaccine Mandates
Virus Outbreak NYC Vaccine Mandates

New York City's vaccination mandate for city workers took effect Monday amid fierce resistance among a minority of workers in a few critical public safety jobs, including police officers and firefighters.

As of Sunday, 1 in 4 of the city's uniformed firefighters still hadn't gotten a first dose of the vaccine, as required. About 1 in 6 police officers were still unvaccinated. It wasn't clear how many might have rushed to get a dose at the last minute over the weekend, or early Monday.

Under the city’s mandate, those who haven’t received at least one dose of the vaccine will be suspended without pay. New York has more than 300,000 employees.

City officials have said they are prepared for possible staffing shortfalls, calling in vaccinated employees for overtime shifts.

The head of the union that represents New York City firefighters, which has fought the vaccine mandate, warned that public safety could be at risk. The fire department has said it was prepared to take up to 20% of its fire companies out of service and and have 20% fewer ambulances on the road.

“We’re here today because of a mandate that was put not only on our members, but also all New York City employees, given nine days to make a life-changing decision on their career or whether or not they’re going to take a vaccine,” Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said at an early morning news conference.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the city's highest public safety priority is stopping the spread of COVID-19, which continues to kill a handful of people in the city every day.

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