Bill de Blasio mandates COVID-19 vaccines for all hospital workers


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees of the city’s public hospital and health clinic systems in an order that is to be announced Wednesday. 

Staff will have to get one of the vaccines – or face weekly Covid tests after a third of staff refused to get a shot. 

The order, which will take effect in August, will cover Health and Hospitals employees in addition to those who work at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s public clinics, sources told the New York Post.  

‘We’re in a new era of COVID where there’ve been millions of people vaccinated and hospitalizations rates have gone down, but cases are rising and we need to make sure our health care facilities are as safe as possible,’ a senior administration official said. 

‘That’s the logic,’ they added. 

De Blasio has reportedly grown frustrated at the slow uptake of vaccines among employees of the city’s health system.

Bill de Blasio (center) and his wife Chirlane McCray (center-left) join hundreds of police, fire, hospital, and other first responders in a ticker-tape parade in New York on July 7th

Just over 60% of hospital staff in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island have received a vaccine through July. That means almost 40% have either refused or have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state Health Department.

That compares to 64% of adults in New York City adults who are fully vaccinated, and 70% who have received at least one dose.

The numbers are slightly better for hospital staff in Queens, where the number vaccinated rises to 67%, while in Manhattan 76% of workers are vaccinated, the Post reports.

Almost 100,000 hospital staff in the city could be unvaccinated, according to the Post. 

According to a recent report a Yale University study conducted with the city’s Health Department, COVID vaccinations prevented 8,300 deaths and 44,000 hospitalizations in New York City during the first six months of 2021.

The study, released last week, shows vaccines stopped a projected 250,000 new coronavirus infections, with just 1.1 percent of all new cases originating from fully vaccinated New Yorkers.

In addition, New Jersey says vaccines have been more than 99-percent effective against the virus throughout the area, according to an analysis released Monday. 

Of the the 4.4 million people vaccinated in New Jersey as of June 28, the Health Department’s analysis showed only 3,474 tested positive for COVID.  

Of those individuals, 84 required hospitalization and 31 died.     

As the spread of the now prominent Delta variant surges and vaccinations continue to slow, many believe indoor mask mandates should return. 

However, De Blasio said he’s not imposing a mask mandate anytime soon because of concerns it would prevent New Yorkers from getting vaccinated. 

Both deaths and infections have spiked across the country as fears mount that the new variant could halt progress against the virus

Both deaths and infections have spiked across the country as fears mount that the new variant could halt progress against the virus 

‘I fear this. I don’t want to see people say, ‘Oh, we’re wearing masks so we don’t need to deal with vaccination,” de Blasio said Tuesday at his daily press briefing. 

‘We have the solution to the thing that is killing so many people and is now threatening once again our ability for people to make a living. Why is this hard? Just go get vaccinated,’ he urged.  

On Sunday, Los Angeles County reinstated its indoor mask mandate as the Delta variant threatens to halt progress against the coronavirus across the country.  

The spread of the highly contagious strain, which originated in India, has already pushed new infections up to 26,306 nationwide, an increase of 69.3 percent on a seven-day moving average compared to one week earlier.

Nearly every state witnessed a rise in infections in the last week and CDC data shows the Delta variant is responsible for about 60 percent of these cases.

The reinstatement of indoor mask wearing in LA came after the county saw a 700% increase in its positivity rate over the past month, according to health officials, with the unvaccinated accounting for all hospitalizations.

The mandate is a departure from CDC guidelines that now say the vaccinated can remain without a mask indoors. 

HOW LIKELY ARE YOU TO GET COVID-19 AFTER BEING FULLY VACCINATED?

So-called ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 cases occur when people contract the disease 14 days or more after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson one-shot jab.

Clinical trials have shown that Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is 95% effective in preventing symptomatic disease and the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective.

Meanwhile, real-world data showed the Pfizer jab is 91% effective against all disease for at least six months and the Moderna vaccine is 90% effective.

This means that fully vaccinated people are between 90% and 95% less likely to develop COVID-19 than unvaccinated people.

In addition, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine trials showed 72% efficacy in the U.S., meaning those who got the one-shot jab are 72% less likely to contract the disease.

When comparing fully vaccinated people who did and did not get sick, the risk is even lower.

The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show that 10,262 of at least 133 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later contracted the disease.

This translates to 0.00716% of people who have completed their vaccine series have gone on to test positive.

It also represents the true odds of getting COVID-19 after full vaccination: less than 0.01%.

What’s more, fully vaccinated people who test positive have mild illnesses, and are very unlikely to be hospitalized or die.

The CDC states that 99.5% of all deaths occur in unvaccinated people.

That means, if the figure applies to the 3,165 Americans who’ve died in July 2021 so far – as of July 13 – about 3,150 deaths would be among unvaccinated people and 15 deaths among fully vaccinated people.



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