NYC mayor Bill de Blasio just announced a vaccine for private companies.
The first-in-the-nation mandate comes after news of the COVID-19 Omicron variant being located in various states, including California, Connecticut, and New York. He is only giving businesses three weeks to make sure their workers are vaccinated, which adds even more pressure to businesses approaching the holiday shopping season.
In a press conference, De Blasio defended the decision by saying, “We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it’s causing to all of us.”
De Blasio Defends The Controversial Vaccine Mandate For Public Safety
Today @NYCMayor and I announced major new vaccine policies ⬇
1. A vaccine mandate for private-sector workers. The mandate, which will take effect on December 27, will apply to roughly 184,000 businesses. More guidance coming next week for businesses. 🧵
— Commissioner Dave A. Chokshi, MD (@NYCHealthCommr) December 6, 2021
In a statement, De Blasio said that “New York City will not give a single inch in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold, first-in-the-nation measures to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe. From workplace mandates, to $100 incentives, to mobile and at-home vaccination offerings, no place in the nation has done more to end the COVID era. And if you have not taken this step yet: there’s no better day than today to stand up for your city.”
City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi and other doctors agreed with De Blasio’s decision.
“Vaccines work, and vaccine mandates work, particularly when joined with efforts to build vaccine confidence, provide incentives, and improve access, as we have in New York City,” he said. “We’ve seen this with our health care workers, school staff, and public employees. Now it’s time for the private sector to step up and follow suit.”
Dr. Zeke Emanuel added, “Getting the unvaccinated vaccinated is critical to getting our control. We know that that will not happen voluntarily. That’s where mandates come in. We know that no one likes to be required to do something. We all like to be given our choice. We are, after all, Americans, where freedom of choice is essential. But when we have this collective issue that we all have to get vaccinated to protect everyone, we do need to have mandates.”
What Is Known About The New Policies?
NYC is a global leader when it comes to #COVID19 recovery. We’ve proven that with vaccine mandates and incentives, we can beat this virus.
Now we’re taking another step towards the future — a private sector employee vaccine mandate. Together we can save lives and move forward. https://t.co/SjxNUla4oJ
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 6, 2021
The policies concerning the new mandate will be released on December 15. These policies will then go into effect on December 27, only two days after Christmas. The requirements will only apply to in-person employees, who will not be given a weekly testing option. This applies to all private businesses that have more than one employee.
City employees, childcare providers, and school employees are already required to be vaccinated. Reportedly, only 6% of the city’s workforce remains unvaccinated.
Although children will not be mandated to get a vaccine, children ages 5 to 11 will be required to show proof of at least one vaccine dose to enter indoor restaurant dining, fitness centers, and entertainment venues. They also must be vaccinated to participate in “high-risk” after-school activities, such as sports, dance, band, orchestra, and chorus. Children who are aged 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination.
The city is still recommending that masks be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a CDC-issued vaccination card, the New York State Excelsior Pass, the Clear Health Pass, or the NYC COVID Safe App.