One in six New York City municipal workers remained unvaccinated after Friday’s deadline to demonstrate proof that they received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the city said on Saturday.
The influx of last-minute shots boosted vaccination rates to 83% among police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors and other urban mandated workers as of 8 p.m. Friday, up from 76% a day earlier.
More than 26,000 workers who did not meet the requirements will be sent on unpaid leave from Monday, leaving Big Apple preparing for closed fire stations, fewer police and ambulances, and more garbage.
Vaccination rates for the city’s fire and sanitation departments jumped significantly on Friday as workers rushed to meet the mandate deadline and an added incentive: Workers vaccinated by Friday will receive $ 500.
According to city data, on Friday the number of vaccinations in the fire department increased by 8%, and in the sanitation department an additional 10% of employees were vaccinated. In each fire and sanitary service, 23% of employees are still not vaccinated.
NYPD increased the number of shots by 5% on Friday, leaving 16% of police officers to receive their doses.
City officials are weighing various contingencies to cope with an expected staff shortage on Monday.
The fire department said it is ready to close up to 20% of its fire companies and have 20% fewer ambulances, as well as change schedules, cancel vacations and turn to third-party EMS providers to fill expected staff shortages.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the sanitary department will shift to a 12-hour shift, as opposed to the usual 8-hour shifts, and begin work on Sundays to keep debris from piling up.