Can he even do this?
On Monday (December 6th), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that there would be a vaccine mandate for all private-sector employers in the city.
Calling the measure the “first in the nation,” de Blasio also revealed that this mandate would go into effect on December 27th as a preemptive move in anticipation of the winter COVID-19 spike.
He revealed these measures in an interview with MSNBC, saying that, “We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it’s causing to all of us.”
The latest mandate will require adults to have two vaccine doses – compared to the one dose previously required to comply with the mandate. However, children aged 5 to 11 would still only need one dose to receive proof of vaccination.
The vaccination proof will then be used to access fitness, entertainment, and indoor dining.
The mayor mentioned that the city was working alongside the business community to execute and enforce these latest measures while saying there had been plenty of cooperation.
De Blasio emphasized that the city was implementing these measures to overcome the COVID era that the world had been living with for almost two years. Revealing that his experience was that vaccine mandates were the “one thing that really breaks through.”
His comments on MSNBC follow news that the Omicron variant was identified in the city over the weekend. The latest variant discovered in South Africa is said to be more transmissible – but milder – than the original COVID-19 strain.
De Blasio also said he assumes there has already been community spread of Omicron in the city, saying that he believed these cases have gone undetected by the city’s surveillance of COVID-19. But, he believed vaccines had been proven effective against new strains despite concerns that this would not be the case.
Earlier in the year, the city enacted a vaccine mandate for city workers in addition to a policy that required a vaccine ID to access most of the city’s indoor venues.
So far, data from the city’s health department estimates that 77.6% of the city’s total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Counting only the adult population, that figure increases to 89.2%.
These percentages are above the national adult vaccination rate of 83.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data.