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A problem not unique to New York but seen first time in the US’s largest city

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

The Covid-19 vaccine has been mandatory for all New York City officials since this week, and resistance to the measure – particularly among the fire and police agencies – has left the country’s largest city without thousands of troops necessary to their security.

After the Delta variant of covid returned the United States to the levels of infections and hospitalizations seen last winter, the mayor of the city imposed the vaccine mandate on October 20. There is a risk that another wave of covid will emerge this fall-winter season.

De Blasio’s move is consistent with those of other Democratic leaders across the country – who are fighting to impose the vaccine that the majority of Republicans support, beginning with former President Donald Trump – and Joe Biden. The president of the United States has also mandated vaccination for federal employees, health-care personnel in clinics and federally sponsored hospitals, the military, and, most importantly, the millions of Americans who work in companies with more than 100 employees. This next move is still in the planning stages, but it is expected to spark a massive court battle.

Thousands of New York City officials have been reluctantly vaccinated in recent days to avoid losing their jobs. Last Thursday, the percentage of vaccinated public employees – including teachers, jail staff, emergency services, police, and firefighters – was 86 percent, and by Monday, when the mandate went into effect, it had risen to 91 percent.

Unions are particularly powerful in both the police and fire services, and many of their members take a more conservative position than the Democratic city councillors. The firefighters are the most hesitant, with only 77 percent of them having been vaccinated as of Monday.

It is an essential service, and some residents have sought to give the city a pulse by refusing the vaccination. According to City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, 2,300 firefighters claimed to be unwell and did not report to work, posing an obvious challenge to the authorities.

With 85 percent vaccinated, the percentage of police officers who have been vaccinated has risen fast in recent days, but it is still far from covering the complete body. His attempts to have the duty set aside in court were unsuccessful.

In total, 9,000 federal servants are on unpaid leave because they have not been vaccinated, and another 12,000 have not been vaccinated but have not lost their jobs because they have claimed a medical or religious exemption. They will take days to resolve, but it is unlikely that they will be approved by a majority.

It isn’t just a problem in New York. Cities around the country, from Chicago to Los Angeles, are facing uprisings and legal challenges from authorities who refuse to comply with vaccination mandates.

Image Credit: Getty

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