During a Wednesday news briefing, the Democrat mayor said private-sector workers in the city will have to receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting Dec. 27 and have proof of a second dose within 45 days after the first for either the Pfizer or Moderna recipients. Johnson & Johnson requires only one shot.
“We saw every single time we put a mandate in place, it was the decisive factor in getting a lot of people to move,” de Blasio, who is slated to leave office in the coming weeks, said in a press briefing. “So, I do not expect people to be losing their jobs because we have a body of evidence that shows that people make the decision, when it’s really the moment of truth … to get vaccinated.”
The mandate applies to people who work in-person and those who interact with the public for business.
The mayor also directed New York City employers to the mayor’s website that includes a form affirming their workers have received the vaccines. The form includes the name and address of the business, attesting that “I affirm that I have read the December 13, 2021 Order of the New York City Commissioner of Health requiring vaccination of workers and that my workplace is in compliance with the Order.”
During the news conference, de Blasio said that he believes the mandate would spur more vaccinations in the city. The mayor did not provide data to support his claim.
“What we have seen is mandates cause people to make that decision, ‘Yes, I’m going to get vaccinated.’ It just happened so consistently now,” he said. “I do not expect people to be losing their jobs, because we have a body of evidence that shows that people make the decision, when it’s really the moment of truth, to make the decision to get vaccinated.”
De Blasio did not make any mention of how the city would enforce the COVID-19 vaccine mandate during his news conference. But, according to a section on the website, businesses can be fined $1,000 for noncompliance, with increased amounts being handed down by “various city agencies.”
“It’s a really clear document. It’ll be available to all businesses today explaining how to do it,” de Blasio said.
Earlier this month, after de Blasio announced the mandate during an MSNBC interview, he was sharply criticized by business leaders for a lack of transparency and for not providing details about his order. On Wednesday, the mayor was again criticized by business leaders, including Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce CEO Randy Peers, who told the New York Post that the edict is “mean-spirited.”
“What I disagree with … is people losing their jobs over vaccines. That’s what I disagree with,” Peers told the paper. “That’s a bad policy, and it’s a mean-spirited policy to do such around the holiday time.”
Under the mandate, New York City employers have to now post an official sign-in document in an obvious spot, keep records of vaccination documents, have workers get second doses if needed, and allow employees to keep working while they seek an accommodation.
The workplace mandate doesn’t apply to people who work at home and don’t have in-person contact with co-workers, and people who enter a workplace briefly. Non-New York City-based performing artists, college or professional athletes, and anyone who accompanies them are exempt as well.