New York City's Mayor has announced that 1,430 municipal employees have been fired for failing to comply with the vaccine mandate in place since October. The figure is less than 1 percent of the city's total workforce.
The mandate has two tiers. New hires must show proof of second vaccination. Staff on leave without pay (and without access to their health coverage) for the last few months must show evidence of one dose. Two people in the first category were fired. And while 1,428 people in the second category were fired, almost 1,000 chose to get vaccinated before last week’s deadline.
“Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
“Out of all the new city employees who received notices two weeks ago, only two who worked last week are no longer employed by the city. I’m grateful to all the city workers who continue to serve New Yorkers and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for the greatest city in the world.”
Over 85 percent of New York City residents have got at least one dose, and 76 percent are fully vaccinated. This is much higher than the national average, with less than 65 percent of people in the US having received at least two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson.
The values for New York City employees are now much higher, with 95 percent of its 370,000-strong workforce having received at least one dose. That’s an increase from the 84 percent level in October, when the mandate was first announced. That said, rates across the departments are uneven, with about 88 percent of the New York City Police Department and corrections workers receiving at least one dose. Of the fired people, 36 belong to the Police Department.
The department that was hit the hardest was the Department of Education, with 914 people fired. Another 101 worked for the Housing Authority. In total, almost 4,000 people were at risk of employment termination, but most decided to opt for the jab in the end, as was expected.
“City workers served on the front lines during the pandemic, and by getting vaccinated, they are, once again, showing how they are willing to do the right thing to protect themselves and all New Yorkers,” Mayor Adams also said in his statement.
Over 10.4 billion vaccine doses have been administered across the world, covering almost 62 percent of the world population. Distribution remains uneven, as only 10.6 percent of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.