NEW YORK — Two COVID vaccine mandates are impacting thousands of New Yorkers.
One of the vaccine mandates is a statewide order for health care workers, which took effect on Monday, while the other impacts New York City Department of Education employees, which goes into effect Friday.
Neither of the mandates allow people to opt-out of vaccines with weekly COVID-19 testing.
NYC Councilman Mark Levine, who also serves as the chair of the Health Committee, told PIX11 News the vaccine mandates are “absolutely necessary,” especially when the delta variant continues to spread across the city.
“The vaccines are our best protection,” he said. “Mandates are proving that they work.”
Levine also acknowledged there is no operational collapse of hospitals that some had feared would happen with the mandates.
The councilman also said the mandates have led to a surge in vaccinations in the last week and over the weekend, including the last couple of days.
About 92% of health care workers are vaccinated. What is Levine’s message to the health care workers who have kept us going during the height of the pandemic and are now being told ?
“We need you to save your life, save your family’s life to protect your community, to protect your patients. That’s really the sacred duty of anyone who’s in health care,” Levine said. “To have someone working with patients who are, by definition, vulnerable, it’s just unsafe and that’s not what health care is about,
Levine reiterated the fact vaccines are safe.
He also said hospitals are willing to welcome people back if they decide to get vaccinated. “There’s plenty of time still.”