More than 2,000 New York City firefighters are sick as the vaccine mandate takes effect

About 2,300 members of the New York City Fire Department claimed they were sick and did not show up for work Monday when the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for municipal workers went into effect.

All city workers should have received at least one dose of the vaccine by October 29th. City leaders suspect that many of those who did not roll up their sleeves pretended to be ill to avoid being disciplined for not complying with health requirements. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month that workers who did not get at least their first shot before the deadline would be put on unpaid leave.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Monday that firefighters had plenty of time to get vaccinated, and he begged those who have not yet been stabbed to get their shots so they can return to work. Normally, fewer than 1,000 ward members would be sick on any given day, he said. FDNY employs about 11,000 uniformed workers.

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New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro, seen here with Mayor Bill De Blasio at a press conference in New York City in 2015, says it is “completely unacceptable” for local firefighters to abuse medical leave to avoid the city’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Michael Graae / Getty Images

De Blasio also said he believes many of the 2,300 firefighters who reported sick pretended to be sick and violated oaths they took to serve the public.

“It’s something we do not tolerate”

“We have every reason to believe that we have many people out there who claim to be sick when they are not,” de Blasio told a news conference on Monday, noting that there could be “real consequences”. for employees who are determined to have lied. about their state of health. “It’s something we do not tolerate.”

“It is imperative that everyone comes to work and does their job. The taxpayers in this city depend on all our public services, especially our first aiders,” the mayor added.

Commissioner Nigro agreed that the increase in FDNY members on medical leave is linked to the city’s vaccine mandate coming into force. To date, three-quarters of the city’s firefighters have been vaccinated, which is well below 91% for the city’s 300,000 municipal employees as a whole.

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“Since the mandate was issued, our medical leave has increased, and we know that,” Nigro said, noting that about 700 people a day visited the ward’s doctor’s office last week.

“The majority of them are unvaccinated. This is completely unacceptable,” he said.

The widespread absence does not affect FDNY’s response times because firefighters who report for duty pick up extra shifts, Nigro said. “Thanks to those moving up to fill seats, our department is doing quite well.”


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