City workers in New York will no longer have to get vaccinated against COVID-19 : NPR
New York City will no longer require city workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, approximately a year and a half after the policy was implemented.
In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams said Monday “it’s a good time for the decision” because currently more than 96% of city workers are vaccinated, and 80% of all New Yorkers have received at least two doses of the vaccine.
The change will take effect Friday, after the next board of health meeting the day before, and also applies to employees of the city’s Department of Education. People visiting Ministry of Education schools will no longer have to provide proof of at least one dose of vaccine.
The vaccination mandate was established in July 2021 and gave city workers until the end of September this year to get vaccinated, or to wear a mask indoors and take weekly COVID-19 tests.
About 1,780 employees were fired for failing to show proof of vaccination. These employees will not be reinstated, but may reapply to their former city departments, according to the announcement.
On October 24, a New York state judge ruled that the city’s vaccination mandate for public employees was arbitrary and capricious, and therefore in violation of the state constitution. He ordered the city to reinstate city employees who had been terminated for the term with back pay, but the city appealed.
But also that day, Adams lifted the mandate of private sector employees. Last March, the city ended its vaccination mandate for athletes and theater artists.
“It is clear that these mandates saved lives and were absolutely necessary to face the moment. We are grateful to be able now, as we leave the emergency phase of the pandemic, to further modify the rules which led us to this point,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.