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NYC Mayor De Blasio Issues Vaccine Mandate for All City Employees

New York City will require all city workers to be vaccinated by the end of the month or be sent on unpaid leave until they're vaccinated.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all public employees eliminating the option for testing.

Staff employed by New York City are now required to have proof of at least one dose of vaccination against the coronavirus after Oct. 29, the Mayor's office announced. 

"As we continue our recovery for all of us, city workers have been a daily inspiration. Now is the time for them to show their city the path out of this pandemic once and for all," said de Blasio in a statement.

Unvaccinated employees will be placed on unpaid leave until they show proof of vaccination to their supervisor.

States and local governments with similar rules are managing thousands of employees who haven’t gotten vaccinated against the disease.

City employees were previously required to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, and a vaccine requirement was also put in place in the city for Department of Education workers and healthcare workers. 

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Meanwhile, city employees will receive a $500 reward beginning Wednesday until Oct. 29 upon taking their first shot.

The new rules are expected to affect more than 160,000 workers (including police, firefighters and correctional officers), 70% of whom already had at least one shot.

An estimated 46,000 workers in the city will need to get their vaccine dose before Oct. 29, according to the data cited above.

De Blasio said the city will begin impact bargaining with affected unions immediately.

The Wall Street Journal reported that 70% of police and 60% of the fire department personnel have received their first dose.

One category of workers, uniformed correction officers, is being given an extra month to comply. They will have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated, the mayor said, because of a continuing staffing crisis at the city’s Rikers Island prison complex.