Many vaccine mandates, though unnecessary and tyrannical, allow people to provide proof of a recent negative COVID test — usually within two weeks — instead of getting the vaccine. But New York City has announced a new vaccine mandate with no testing option. This means that there are even fewer ways to avoid getting the jab while keeping one’s job.
This new vaccine mandate affects 160,000 city workers, all of whom are required to get the COVID vaccine if they want to stay employed and be able to provide for their families.
“The vaccine is what has allowed us to fight back against COVID and save tens of thousands of lives. And there’s still a lot of city employees who are not vaccinated,” de Blasio told CNN on Wednesday. “I want to protect them. I want to protect their families. I want to protect all the people that they come in contact within this city.”
“Law enforcement has borne the brunt of COVID. In this nation in the last two years, 460 law enforcement officers have been lost to COVID. We’ve got to protect them,” he says. “This vaccine mandate allows us to do that.” Currently, neither the city’s police or firefighters have reached a 75 percent vaccination rate.
NBC New York reports:
The new rules affect more than 160,000 workers (including police, firefighters and correctional officers), 70% of whom already had at least one shot. The NYPD’s largest union already warned it will take legal action to block the mandate, while the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association plans a media briefing later Wednesday.
Nearly 45% of FDNY firefighters are unvaccinated, the union president said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said those who serve the city also have a responsibility to protect the people and communities within it from all scourges, COVID-19 included.
Unvaccinated employees must get at least one dose of the vaccine by October 29 or be placed on unpaid leave. Uniformed Department of Corrections employees have until December 1. This could be a disaster for the city if people stand up for their rights.
“We don’t want that for anyone,” de Blasio claims. “We just want people to get vaccinated.” Currently, 46,000 city employees are unvaccinated.
“That’s a lot of people, and think about their families, think about everyone they come in contact with,” de Blasio says. “We’re fighting this war against COVID still, let’s not kid ourselves. And the difference now, if we get people vaccinated, we’re going to save tens of thousands of lives. If we don’t, we’re going to lose a lot of people who could have been saved and we’re not going to get out of this morass.”
It will be interesting to see what happens if the deadline approaches and employees stand their ground.