Mark Lenihan / AP
Thousands of New York municipal workers, including police officers and firefighters, have opted for unpaid leave instead of vaccinating against COVID-19, as the city’s vaccine mandate has been enacted.
Speaking Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, Said He did not expect the city’s nearly 9,000 employees, or about 6% of the 378,000 strong workforce, to be laid off for failure to take shots. According to, these workers must show proof of at least one dose of vaccination to return to work. Order dated October 20.
However, last-minute compliance with the order significantly reduced the number of employees who may have been affected, city officials said. De Blasio Tweeted On Saturday alone, 2,300 city workers were vaccinated.
“More than half of the workers who have not yet been vaccinated have applied for immunity and these applications are being processed,” he said. Written On twitter
De Blasio said the 11-hour increase brought the percentage of vaccinators to 91 percent, up from 86 percent last weekend.
As of Sunday, the mayor’s office said the vaccination rate for emergency medical services workers had risen from 74 percent on Thursday to 87 percent, while the fire department had risen from 64 percent the previous day to 77 percent on Friday, Reuters reported. According to.
The city’s fire and police unions have challenged the mandate in court, but the New York City Police Benevolent Association said last week that the courts had rejected his request for an emergency order to stop the mandate.
Andrew Ensbrough, president of the Uniform Firefighters Association, said the mandate would force dozens of fire companies. turn off. He urged the city officials to give more time to the union members to fulfill their mandate.
Meanwhile, the city’s fire commissioner, Daniel Negro, criticized some firefighters, saying they were using “bogus” illness time in response to Monday’s mandate deadline.
Negro said in a statement: “The irresponsible fake illness leave by some of our members is a threat to New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters.” “They need to return to work or risk the consequences of their actions.”
The mayor added on Monday, “People get really upset very quickly when people don’t come to work unless they’re really sick, and we have every reason to believe that a lot of people out there are sick. They claim to be. When they are not. This is not acceptable. “
More than 2,000 of the city’s 11,000 uniformed firefighters have spent sick days a week, leading to the mandate being enforced, said Frank Dwyer, the fire department’s deputy commissioner for public information. Said.
According to Reuters, the vaccination rate for the New York Police Department on Monday, which de Blasio reported 74 percent on Thursday, was not immediately available.