On Monday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the full introduction of the Covid vaccine to all private employers in New York City to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.
Mr de Blasio said the aggressive measure, which takes effect December 27 and which he called the first of its kind in the country, was needed as a “preemptive strike” to stop a new wave of coronavirus cases and help reduce transmission. during the winter months and holiday get-togethers.
“Omicron is here and it seems to be very transmitted,” he said in an interview with MSNBC. “The time is awful with the winter months.”
New York has already introduced mandatory vaccines for urban workers, as well as restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms. Nearly 90 percent of the city’s adult population has now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
But Mr de Blasio said the city must go further to fight the new wave of the virus in New York, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic. Some private employers demanded vaccinations from employees, but many did not.
The mayor also announced that the food and entertainment rules will apply to children aged 5-11 starting December 14, and the requirements for adults will increase from one dose of the vaccine to two starting December 27.
Mr de Blasio and Gov. Katie Hochul held a press conference last Thursday to announce the first five cases of Omicron in New York State. In recent weeks, the number of cases of coronavirus in the city has skyrocketed; since November 1, the daily number of cases has increased by more than 75 percent.
Mr de Blasio, a Democrat who remained in power for less than a month, said he was confident the new mandate would withstand any legal challenge.
“We are confident because it is universal,” he said of the mandate.