Push comes to jab for workers on New York's payroll

Add Time:2021-07-28 Hits:39

The mayor of New York City announced on Monday that teachers, police officers and the rest of the city's 340,000 employees must be vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly coronavirus testing.

Following New York's lead is California, which announced a vaccine verification program for all state and healthcare employees. The federal Veterans Administration also has issued a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

"This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Renee Campion, commissioner at the New York City Office of Labor Relations, said if employees refuse to comply, they will be put on leave without pay.

The decision on Monday makes New York City one of the largest employers in the United States to take such action. The mayor said the announcement was part of what will be an intense vaccination effort leading up to the start of the school year. The New York City mandate begins after Labor Day.

"September is when many employers are bringing back a lot of their employees," he said. "September is when school starts full strength. September is when people come back from the summer."

Lead followed

Hours after New York City's announcement, Californian officials announced that state employees and all healthcare workers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be subject to weekly testing.

Starting in August, approximately 238,000 Californian state employees, along with healthcare workers, must show proof of their vaccination status or be tested regularly, said Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday.

State health officials said those who cannot verify they are fully vaccinated must wear masks in the office and be tested for the virus weekly.

Newsom and de Blasio also urged private employers to implement similar vaccination mandates.

The Veterans Affairs Department on Monday became the first federal agency to issue a vaccine mandate, requiring all of its medical employees to get a jab within eight weeks. It said four of its employees, all of whom were unvaccinated, had died from COVID-19 in recent weeks.

"Whenever a veteran or VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19," said Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough in a statement.

Medical groups representing millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health workers called for mandatory vaccinations of all US health personnel against the coronavirus.

"We call for all healthcare and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19," wrote the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and 55 other groups in a joint statement. "The health and safety of US workers, families, communities and the nation depends on it."

It was the first time the groups issued a statement to urge a mandate, representing an increasingly tough stance by the medical and public health establishment amid the sluggish pace of national vaccinations.

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