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1,430 unvaccinated New York City workers fired over vaccine mandate

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1,430 public sector workers in New York City, who refused to get vaccinated before the mandated deadline of February 11, have since been fired from their jobs.

The number of workers whose contracts have been terminated is less than 1% of the city’s 370,000-member workforce. Most of those fired worked for the Department of Education. Initially, over 3,000 employees were at risk of losing their jobs but decided to get vaccinated before the deadline.

In total, 914 people were fired from the Department of Education, 101 from the New York City Housing Authority, 75 from the Department of Correction, 40 from the Department of Sanitation, and 36 from the New York Police Department.

Per Bloomberg, New York City Mayor Eric Adams explained that he considered the 1,430 unvaccinated workers were not fired but chose to quit because they opted not to follow the rules. He said, “Our goal was always to vaccinate, not terminate, and city workers stepped up and met the goal placed before them.”

Over two dozen unions, such as the Police Benevolent Association, the United Federation of Teachers, and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, previously sued New York City authorities regarding the February 11 vaccine deadline. The Supreme Court refused to hear a November lawsuit from the city’s teachers who stressed that religious freedoms were violated by the vaccination mandates. However, amongst protests and backlash from municipal-worker groups, Adams has defended the city’s decision.

Per New York Times, 1,428 of the workers had been on unpaid leave for months and had failed to receive the first dose of the vaccine prior to receiving their termination notice. The other two workers were newer employees who were operating under stricter requirements and were terminated for failing to receive two vaccine doses.

U.S. officials across the board are striving hard to boost America’s vaccination rate, which currently stands at 64% of the population. They believe that ordering large workforces to protect themselves and others will lead to a significant increase in the vaccination rate. 

Alongside New York City, major cities such as Chicago and San Diego are also adopting a no-jab, no-job policy. Although the Biden administration had attempted to enforce compulsory jabs for federal workers, a judge blocked the ruling in January. A considerable number of medical experts have stressed that mandates have been highly effective in getting people vaccinated. They believe that this is essential in preventing the spread of the virus. Vaccination mandates at private companies such as Tyson Foods have already proved very successful.

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