New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is urging private employers to institute vaccine mandates in order to stem the rise in COVID-19 cases. This comes as the city announced earlier this week that, starting in August, workers at public hospitals and city-run health clinics will either have to get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.
“I’m calling upon all New York City employers, including our private hospitals, to move immediately to some form of mandate whatever the maximum you feel you can do. Any form of mandate, including the type we’re doing, you know, the either/or approach, any type of mandate helps,” de Blasio said in an interview Friday with WNYC. “It will move the ball. It will get more people vaccinated.”
As the country has rolled back pandemic restrictions, there has been an ongoing debate about whether vaccinations should be mandatory for workers in different industries or a requirement to dine at a restaurant or attend an event.
Back in June, the city of San Francisco said that COVID-19 vaccination will be a requirement for all its city workers, about 35,000 people, once the vaccines receive full approval from the FDA. That approval may not come until fall at the earliest, however. Meanwhile in France, President Emmanuel Macron recently declared that a vaccine passport would be required to board a plane or train and even to go to a restaurant or shopping center, reportedly prompting a surge in vaccinations.
Mayor de Blasio did not rule out the possibility of following a similar path.
“I’m not always the biggest Macron fan, but in this case, I think that’s a direction we need to seriously consider — I think there’s a lot to be said for that,” de Blasio said, emphasizing that New York City is in a much better position than it was last year, which he credits to vaccinations.
“We’re in a good position because we laid down that heavy foundation of vaccination,” he added, “and we can make it through and we can continue to recover if we, you know, rapidly address this situation, and that’s where I want to see more aggressive and more creative approaches. And it’s all about vaccination. We can talk about anything else, I’m happy to, but the ball game is vaccination.”