New York City placed 9,000 city workers on leave without pay Monday as its coronavirus vaccine mandate for the public workforce kicked in.
The requirement ordered by Mayor Bill de Blasio — one of the most aggressive in the nation — has pushed the vaccination rate among all city workers to 91 percent.
But at least 21,000 city workers covered by the mandate remain unvaccinated: 9,000 who have now been barred from working, and another 12,000 who have applied for religious or medical exemptions. The latter group is being allowed to work until decisions on those exemptions are made in the coming days. The total city workforce is roughly 378,000.
“This mandate was the right thing to do,” de Blasio said Monday. “We now see it worked.”
First responder and uniformed agencies have some of the lowest vaccination rates, though they have climbed in recent days: 77 percent of firefighters have received at least one shot, 83 percent of Sanitation workers, 85 percent of the NYPD and 88 percent of emergency medical services.