More than 160,000 municipal workers have until October 29 to get their first shot of the COVID vaccine, and testing is no longer an option.
One of the agencies directly impacted is the sanitation department and Commissioner Ed Grayson warned that the city could see some service delays if less employees than anticipated get vaccinated and that department will do what they can to ensure vaccines are available for their workers. The commissioner also acknowledged that it's possible that many may choose not to get vaccinated and opt for early retirement or quit.
About 71% of employees have already have at least one shot of the vaccine. It’s up to 95% in the 11 city-run hospitals, and 96% in schools, where vaccinations are already mandatory. But other sectors of the city's workforce, including the police and fire departments, lag behind.
Municipal employees who do not get vaccinated will be placed on unpaid leave, and their future employment will be resolved in negotiations with individual labor unions.