City workers flocked to Citi Field Saturday to get their shot at the COVID-19 vaccine after suffering through what leaders called a terrible year on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of District Council 37 lined up with dozens of regular New Yorkers to get the lifesaving vaccinations as Mayor de Blasio praised municipal workers for carrying the city on their shoulders.
“No matter what COVID threw at us, members of DC 37 fought back. Part of why this city is coming back strong because of their commitment,” de Blasio said.
At least 200 members of DC 37 died from coronavirus during the pandemic, leaders said, including many who are believed to have contracted the disease on the job.
“(City workers) have been the true heroes of this tragedy and many of them have given their lives to continue to provide services for New Yorkers,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of DC 37.
Librarian Dacia Mates, 48, said she couldn’t wait to get her second shot of the vaccine after not being able to see her father during the yearlong pandemic.
“I wanna get back to my office, I want to be able to do stuff again,” said Mates. “I’m eager for it.”
Jack Li, 17, is looking forward to his turn to get vaccinated. In the meantime, he was thrilled to push his wheelchair-bound grandfather to get his second dose.
“We all wanted to be safer,” Li said. “And if they get vaccinated then I don’t have to worry about not going to school.”
De Blasio said the city’s recovery from the pandemic will depend on getting as many New Yorkers vaccinated as quickly as possible, especially city workers who deal with people or work in close quarters.
“There has to be a recovery for all of us and that means our city workers getting vaccinated ... getting what they need to be safe, for the families to be safe,” he said.
Many city workers are expected to return to work in their regular offices starting in May. That makes it all the more important for them to be protected against the deadly virus.
Garrido said he and other leaders of city workers unions have already been vaccinated so members can see that the shots are safe and effective.
“Many city workers are scared... as we reopen the city, as we begin to fully reopen the services,“ he said. “It is imperative that we get vaccinated.”