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Mayor De Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders – CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a brand new ultimatum in New York City.

All metropolis staff have to be vaccinated towards COVID-19, or they’ll be positioned on unpaid depart.

READ MORE: After Lengthy Battle With COVID-19, Rockland County Man Embraces Newdiscovered Love For Portray

That was the phrase Wednesday from Mayor Invoice de Blasio, who mentioned metropolis staff owe it to their households and the individuals they serve to be protected towards the virus.

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As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, the mandate represents the strictest within the nation, and applies to roughly 160,000 staff who haven’t but been required to get the shot.

COVID VACCINE

“It’s a mandate now for all metropolis businesses, all metropolis staff. It’s time for everybody to get vaccinated. Our public staff are going to steer us out of the COVID period,” de Blasio mentioned.

De Blasio made the rounds on cable information Wednesday morning, pushing the broadest vaccine mandate but for all municipal staff, together with police, firefighters and EMS.

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The mayor mentioned roughly 46,000 metropolis staff are nonetheless unvaccinated.

WATCH: Mayor Invoice de Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All Municipal Workers

“We’re right here to maintain you protected so you possibly can maintain everybody round you protected. We’d like you to maintain individuals within the workforce protected and the individuals you encounter — the residents of this metropolis — protected,” de Blasio mentioned.

As of Tuesday evening, the general NYPD vaccination charge is 71%. The FDNY says solely 60% of its uniformed workforce, together with firefighters and EMS staff, are vaccinated. Identical goes for sanitation staff, solely 60% of whom are vaccinated.

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The brand new mandate doesn’t embody a testing choice, and means all staff should get at the very least one shot by subsequent Friday, Oct. 29, or get sidelined.

“So we are saying vaccinate. Should you select to not, You may have the precise to go on unpaid depart. We’re going to work together with your union to determine what occurs subsequent. However the backside line is we’re not going to pay individuals until they’re vaccinated,” de Blasio mentioned.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Police union boss Patrick Lynch vowed to battle the mandate in court docket.

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“From the start of the de Blasio administration‘s haphazard vaccine rollout, we have now fought to make the vaccine accessible to each member who chooses it, whereas additionally defending their proper to make that non-public medical choice in session with their very own physician. Now that town has moved to unilaterally impose a mandate, we are going to proceed with authorized motion to guard our members’ rights,” Lynch mentioned.

READ MORE: Union Leaders: NYC Seemingly To Face Dramatic Drop In Providers If First Responders Forced To Comply With Vaccine Mandate

“I don’t just like the mandate. I don’t prefer it in any respect,” mentioned Harry Nespoli, who heads the sanitation union and Municipal Labor Council. “There’s a bunch on the market … there’s a bunch in each single metropolis company that simply truthfully feels that, what? I don’t need to put that in my physique.”

“It’s infuriating. It’s disappointing, irritating,” mentioned Oren Barzilary, president of Native 2507, which represents EMTs and paramedics. “Hundreds will stroll off from EMS.”

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The mayor is providing a $500 incentive to all metropolis staff who get their first dose at a city-run web site by subsequent week’s deadline, a transfer that might price town $23 million.

“Once more, that’s actual cash, however towards the backdrop of an enormous multi-billion greenback effort to battle COVID over these final years, I feel it’s a very good funding,” de Blasio mentioned.

He additionally mentioned staff who go on unpaid depart after which resolve to get vaccinated might be welcomed again into their positions, however won’t obtain the monetary bonus.

Watch Jessica Moore’s report —

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Many are combating the mandate, saying they consider they’ve pure immunity after being contaminated with the virus.

“We’ve discovered that over 70% of New York City firefighters have been sick with COVID within the final 20 months,” mentioned Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Affiliation. “The FDNY has been examined for COVID antibodies for over a 12 months, they usually refuse to acknowledge that antibodies are efficient in defending members from critical an infection.”

Some medical doctors have cautioned towards that argument, saying we don’t know the way lengthy these antibodies final and the Delta variant is completely different than the virus was a 12 months in the past.

Nonetheless, whereas union heads are already pledging lawsuits, employment legal professional Helen Rella says the courts will probably uphold the mandate.

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“Why does the mayor have that authorized authority to say, you have to be vaccinated or you’ll not be paid?” CBS2’s Jessica Layton requested.

“As a result of it is a public security difficulty and since the mayor is talking on behalf of town, which successfully is the employer,” Rella mentioned.

The mayor’s hardline stance has the backing of the White Home and a few City Council members.

“That is one other in a collection of the daring insurance policies that protected New York City,” Councilman Mark Levine mentioned.

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Some correction officers have an additional month to get vaccinated, with the mayor citing the continuing staffing scarcity at Rikers Island. The deadline for these DOC staff is Dec. 1. Solely 51% of correction officers are vaccinated.

MORE NEWS: White Home Details Plans To Vaccinate 28 Million Youngsters Ages 5-11

CBS2’s John Dias and Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

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