How will NYC’s next mayor handle Covid vaccine requirements?

How will NYC’s next mayor handle Covid vaccine requirements?
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Two men running to be New York City’s next mayor have vastly different approaches to vaccinate the city’s workforce against Covid-19, after Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded a mandate that will require all city workers be inoculated against a disease that has devastated the city and its public employees.

Democratic candidate Eric Adams – who is favoured to win the general election on 2 November – believes the mayor’s action was “correct,” he said during the first debate with his opponent, Republican Curtis Sliwa.

Both men are vaccinated, they said, but only Mr Adams – a Brooklyn borough president, former state legislator and retired New York City Police Department captain – said he would uphold the rules. He said he would have first consulted with unions, several of which have criticised De Blasio for implementing the rules.

“We can never go back to what we were when Covid hit the city,” he said, noting that he would also uphold the mandate requiring all police and fire department members to be vaccinated – and that he would agree to “bench” those who do not comply.

“I would follow the rules if they were in place,” he said.

Mr Sliwa – somewhat of a New York institution, as a radio personality and founder of the controversial Guardian Angels volunteer subway patrol who has joined rallies opposing the city’s vaccine requirements during his mayoral campaign – is the long-shot Republican candidate. He said “we don’t have enough police officers as it is” to place unvaccinated officers on unpaid leave.

He also opposes Covid-19 vaccine requirements for public school students, noting that he has three sons in public schools and would not want to give any parent a reason to keep their child at home; he did not respond to a question over other types of vaccines required for children entering school.

Mr Adams said he would “follow the science” when it comes to forthcoming guidance on vaccinating children ages 5-11, and that he would be open to a remote learning option for students with parents who refuse.

Both men clashed over the vaccine requirements earlier this week, as Mr Adams pledged to put a requirement in place for public school students should the Food and Drug Administration grant vaccines full approval for their use in children.

“I want my children in school. I don’t want them home because we have a mass outbreak,” he said earlier this week.

Mayor De Blasio’s initiative announced on 20 October will provide city workers with a $500 bonus in their paycheck following their first shot at a city-run vaccination site, through 29 October. By the end of the month, city workers must provide proof that they have at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine or be placed on leave until they can demonstrate that they have received a shot.

The city’s previous efforts to boost inoculations has helped vaccinate more than 70 per cent of the municipal workforce, he said on 20 October. Roughly 46,000 people among 300,000 workers have not had a vaccine.

Roughly 95 per cent of city hospital workers are already vaccinated, along with 96 per cent of public school staff.

Roughly 70 per cent of NYPD and 60 per cent of FDNY are vaccinated, according to city data, showing that both agencies fall below the citywide average of 84 per cent.

Read More

Meet Eric Adams: The rat-hating, gun-toting former Republican in line to be New York City’s next mayor

Curtis Sliwa: Inside the cat-loving ‘vigilante’ Republican’s long-shot campaign for New York City’s next mayor

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