The city’s coronavirus vaccine mandates for private sector workers and student-athletes are being phased out, but the necessity for municipal workers will remain — for the time being.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the rollback at a City Hall press conference on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of New Yorkers getting their COVID booster shots.
The private sector and student obligations, enacted by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, have been in place since last year.
When de Blasio implemented the worker mandate in December, it was the first in the country, requiring all city private sector employees to be wholly vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandate will expire on November 1.
The second policy, which required high school students to be vaccinated to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, expired on Tuesday.
Adams attempted to temper his rollback statement with another message: New Yorkers should obtain new booster shots to protect them from highly virulent COVID strains.
In front of a room full of reporters, he had his second booster shot from the city’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan.
“It is time to move on to the next level of fortifying our city,” Adams said.
“It’s imperative to send the right message and lead by example as I’m doing today by getting my booster shot,” Adams added.
Adams portrayed the repeal of the restrictions as giving parents and businesses more excellent “freedom” regarding immunizations.
He underlined that his shot on Tuesday was only the first stage in a new citywide digital and print immunization campaign encouraging booster vaccinations.
Even as Adams and Vasan introduced the new campaign and the repeal of the two mandates, they struggled to explain why they repealed the one mandate while keeping the other in place – a divisive rule that resulted in workers being dismissed, litigation, and political protests.
“We’re in a steady phase of pivot and shift,” he said.
“We do things, and we roll things out slowly. Right now, that is not on the radar for us,” he added.