New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees at the city’s public hospitals and health clinics in an order to be announced Wednesday.
Staff will have to get one of the vaccines – or undergo weekly Covid tests after a third of staff refused to get an injection.
The order, which takes effect in August, will affect Health and Hospitals employees, in addition to those who work at the public clinics of the Ministry of Health and Mental Hygiene, sources told the New York Post.
“We are in a new era of COVID where millions of people have been vaccinated and hospitalizations have fallen, but the number of cases is increasing and we need to make sure our healthcare facilities are as safe as possible,” a senior administration official said.
“That’s the logic,” they added.
De Blasio has reportedly become frustrated with the slow uptake of vaccines among employees of the city’s health system.
Bill de Blasio (center) and wife Chirlane McCray (center-left) join hundreds of police, fire, hospital and other first responders in a tickertape parade in New York City on July 7
Just over 60% of hospital staff in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island have received a vaccine through July. That means nearly 40% have refused or not received a COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said.
That compares to 64% of adults in New York City who have been fully vaccinated and 70% who have received at least one dose.
The numbers are slightly better for hospital staff in Queens, where the number of people vaccinated rises to 67%, while in Manhattan 76% of workers are vaccinated, the Post reports.
According to the Post, nearly 100,000 hospital workers in the city could be unvaccinated.
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 that vaccines have stopped the expected 250,000 new coronavirus infections, with only 1.1 percent of all new cases coming from fully vaccinated New Yorkers.
In addition, New Jersey says vaccines across the area have been more than 99 percent effective against the virus, according to an analysis released Monday.
Of the 4.4 million people vaccinated in New Jersey on June 28, the Department of Health’s analysis found that only 3,474 had tested positive for COVID.
Of those individuals, 84 had to be hospitalized and 31 died.
As the spread of the now prominent Delta variant rises and vaccinations continue to slow down, many believe that indoor mask mandates should return.
However, De Blasio said he is not going to impose a mask mandate anytime soon because of concerns it would prevent New Yorkers from being vaccinated.
Both deaths and infections have risen across the country as fears mount that the new strain could halt progress against the virus
‘I’m afraid of this. I don’t want people to say, ‘Oh, we wear masks, so we don’t need to vaccinate,’ de Blasio said during his daily press conference on Tuesday.
“We have the solution to the thing that kills so many people and now once again threatens our ability for people to make a living. Why is this difficult? Get yourself vaccinated,’ he insisted.
On Sunday, Los Angeles County reinstated its indoor mask mandate as the Delta variant threatens to halt progress against the coronavirus nationwide.
The spread of the highly contagious strain, which originated in India, has already pushed the number of new infections across the country to 26,306, up 69.3 percent from a seven-day moving average compared to a week earlier.
Nearly every state has witnessed an increase in infections in the past week, and CDC data shows the Delta variant is responsible for about 60 percent of these cases.
LA’s return to wearing indoor masks came after the county saw a 700% increase in its positivity rate in the past month, according to health officials, with the unvaccinated being responsible for all hospitalizations.
The mandate deviates from CDC guidelines that now say the vaccinated can stay indoors without a mask.
HOW LIKELY TO GET COVID-19 AFTER FULL VACCINATION?
So-called “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases occur when people develop the disease 14 days or more after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or the single injection of Johnson & Johnson.
Clinical studies have shown that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective in preventing symptomatic diseases and the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective.
Meanwhile, real-world data showed that the Pfizer shot is 91% effective against all diseases 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 US, meaning those who received the single shot 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 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 10,262 of at least 133 million Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 later contracted the disease.
This translates to 0.00716% of people who completed their vaccine series went on to test positive.
It also represents the true probability of contracting COVID-19 after full vaccination: less than 0.01%.
In addition, 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 have died so far in July 2021 — as of July 13 — there would be about 3,150 deaths among unvaccinated people and 15 deaths among fully vaccinated people.