November 30, 2021 5:58 pm
More NYC workers get jabs amid mandate, but 26K still refuse

More NYC workers get jabs amid mandate, but 26K still refuse

NEW YORK (AP) – More than 26,000 of New York City’s municipal workers remained unvaccinated after Friday’s deadline to show proof they’ve gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the city said Saturday.

A last-minute surge of jabs increased the vaccination rate to 83% for police officers, firefighters and garbage collectors, which was up from 76% one day earlier.

Workers who don’t comply with the requirement will go on unpaid leave beginning Monday. This leaves the Big Apple preparing for closed firehouses, fewer officers and ambulances, and increasing trash.

The vaccination rates for the city’s sanitation and fire departments rose significantly on Friday. Workers rushed to meet the mandate deadline and got an additional incentive: Workers who receive a shot by Friday get $500.

The fire department’s rate rose 8% and the sanitation department saw an additional 10% of its staff get vaccinated Friday, according to city data. Each of the fire and sanitation departments still has 23% members of staff that have not been vaccinated.

The NYPD had a 5% jump in vaccinations Friday, leaving 16% of police personnel who had yet to get a dose.

City officials are weighing different contingencies to address a possible staffing shortage on Monday.

The fire department stated that it is ready to close 20% fire companies and put 20% fewer fire trucks in service, change schedules, cancel vacations, and turn to outside EMS providers to fill staffing shortages.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the sanitation department will move to 12-hour shifts, as opposed to the usual 8-hour shifts, and begin working Sundays to ensure trash doesn’t pile up.

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