Since October, New York City has required all public sector workers, such as teachers, police officers, and civil servants, to be vaccinated against Covid, and has recently announced that the mandate will soon extend to all private sector employees. The policy will come into force on December 27th, with Mayor Bill de Blasio calling it a “pre-emptive strike” against a potential winter surge in Covid cases. Metro has the story.
The aggressive, first-of-its-kind measure, is what de Blasio is calling a “pre-emptive strike” to combat the expected surge in Covid cases this winter, as the Delta and Omicron variants create growing cause for concern.
“We in New York City have decided to use a pre-emptive strike, to really do something bold to stop the further growth of Covid and the dangers it’s causing to all of us,” the soon-to-be departing mayor said Monday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.
Vaccination requirement for hospital and nursing home staff as well as city employees, including teachers, police officers and firefighters has been in place since October.
“Omicron is here, and it looks like it’s very transmissible. The timing is horrible with the winter months,” de Blasio said.
“So as of today, we’re going to announce a first-in-the-nation measure. Our health commissioner will announce a vaccine mandate for private sector employers across the board.”
The mayor is expected to provide additional details to the new policy at a 10am briefing.
The policy will take effect on December 27th.
The city’s Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said Monday children were the group most affected currently by breakthrough Covid cases, emphasizing the need to expand protections for vulnerable youth.
The mayor is also broadening the city’s Key to NYC vaccine mandate for city businesses, indoor dining, gyms, theatres and other entertainment venues to now include children ages 5 to 11 years-old. Beginning December 14th, children in that age group will be required to show proof of at least one shot.
According to the mayor’s office about 20% of those children have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine.
De Blasio said he expects the new mandate to survive any legal challenges. A spokesperson for the mayor said the private sector mandate will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses.
Additional guidance will be issued on December 15th, de Blasio said.
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