More than 26,000 New York City government employees, including firefighters, police officers, and sanitation workers, flouted the deadline for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to data provided by his office.
The workers had until Friday at 5 p.m. to get the shots and claim a $500 bonus. On Monday, the unvaccinated city workers will be sent home without pay, potentially jeopardizing response times by first responders and interrupting other city services.
The new figures show 89% of city workers have taken at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 19,000 city workers inoculated since de Blasio announced a vaccine mandate and eliminated the alternative for weekly testing on October 20th. While 30 agencies have vaccination rates at or above 90%, the NYPD, New York Fire Department (FDNY), emergency medical services (EMS) and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) continue to show rates below 85%.
Still, there have been marked improvements from some agencies. According to the data, the NYPD’s vaccination rate rose to 84% on Friday, up from 79% the day prior. FDNY’s rate increased to 77% from 69%. The Sanitation Department went from 67% to 77% . The Department of Correction, which is exempt from the mandate until December, continues to have the lowest vaccination rate at 54%.