New York City drives up Covid-19 vaccination with mandate taking effect


New York City has witnessed substantial increase in Covid-19 vaccination among city employees since a vaccine mandate was announced on October 20, according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The city recorded over 22,000 newly reported Covid-19 vaccinations among city workers since October 20, and up to 91 per cent of city employees had been vaccinated, said de Blasio at a press conference on Monday morning.

The vaccination rate with police department employees went up from 70 to 84 per cent in around ten days while the proportion of workers getting at least one shot of Covid-19 vaccine jumped to 83 from 62 per cent in the period, Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire department employees administered with at least one dose of vaccine also increased by more than 20 percentage points, according to New York City Mayor.

The vaccine mandate covering the vast majority of over 3,00,000 city workers took effect on Monday and those failing to follow the mandate are put on unpaid leave.

De Blasio said 9,000 city employees are on leave without pay on Monday and the remaining 12,000 unvaccinated city workers have applied for a medical or religious exemption,

The vaccine mandate has led to protests by city workers from the fire department and others in recent days and concerns on shortage of staff at sanitation, fire and other divisions.

The mandate has had “literally no effect on service at this point,” said New York City’s Police Commissioner, Dermot Shea on Monday.

New York City said 500 US$ of incentive would be offered to city workers who could be vaccinated by 5:00 p.m. on October 29.

Employees at the city’s hospitals, Education and Health departments have been subject to vaccination mandate since late September, and the vaccination mandate for partial employees at local correction department would take effect one month later.