New York City is finally dropping its controversial COVID-19 mandate for all public employees. Beginning Friday, city employees will not have to get mandatory shots.
“With the vast majority of city workers and New Yorkers vaccinated, and more tools readily available to protect people from serious illness, the vaccine requirement for the primary series of shots has served its purpose, driving rates of vaccination up among the city’s workforce during a critical period in the pandemic,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a Monday statement announcing the move.
With more than 96 percent of city workers and more than 80 percent of New Yorkers having received their primary #COVID19 series and more tools readily available to keep us healthy, the #COVID19 Vaccination Will Become Optional for City Workers.
Read more: https://t.co/OSuNs7Deku
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) February 6, 2023
The end of vaccination requirement extends to people who work for the New York City Department of Education as well as non-public school staff, daycare staff and early childcare staff. The change will also scrap the rule requiring visitors to DOE to provide proof of COVID vaccination. Now, students’ families and loved ones can freely attend school activities and events even if they have never taken a dose of the vaccine.
While the news is the fulfillment of a long-awaited move, good luck to the nearly 2,000 people fired for refusing to comply with the mandate, as the new decision will not automatically give them their jobs back. To get reinstated, they will have to reapply.
This decision to scrap the vaccine mandate follows pressure on Adams to lift the order, which was put in place in 2021 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. According to Blasio, at the time, the mandate was supposed to “end the Covid era.” While the idea has many holes, Adams supported it by keeping it in place after taking office on Jan. 1, 2022.
The mayor said now that the new mandate decision was made as the vast majority of New York public workers have been vaccinated. He also said the availability of treatments and tools to prevent serious illness had a role in the move. He, however, maintained that the measure served its purpose even as doubts have been cast on the vaccines’ efficacy in preventing transmission.
Aside from the fact that vaccines don’t do what they are touted to, a number of safety concerns have also been expressed regarding the shots. Even the Center for Disease Control, which is not known for transparency, admitted that the vaccines might cause serious side effects on users, especially senior citizens.