This is a first step towards compulsory vaccination for caregivers: the thousands of employees of New York public hospitals will soon either have to be vaccinated against COVID or be tested every week, witnessing growing concern over the Delta variant .
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“We are monitoring the Delta variant and its impact and it is time to introduce changes,” Mayor Bill de Blasio explained during a press briefing. “This is a first step (…) If we do not see the vaccination figures increasing fast enough, we will consider other options”.
It is the first time that the first American metropolis, where nearly 58% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, through a vaccination campaign based on voluntary work and multiple incentives, has taken such a restrictive measure.
It should apply, from August 2, to some 30,000 employees of 11 New York public hospitals.
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Even if caregivers keep the option of getting tested every week, “I have no doubt that this will push people to be vaccinated,” said the mayor, hoping that private New York hospitals would follow suit. example of public hospitals.
The announcement comes against a backdrop of growing controversy over the measures to be taken to increase the vaccination rate against the delta variant, which now represents 83% of American contaminations, according to the latest estimates.
Many health officials are pushing to make vaccination compulsory, at least for certain categories of the population. But several states led by Republicans have instead passed laws prohibiting coercive measures, especially in schools.
At the end of June, the San Francisco city hall made vaccination compulsory for all municipal employees. But she had conditioned this measure to full approval of the vaccines by the American drug authority, the FDA, not expected for several weeks.
Faced with the progression of the Delta variant, the city finally decided to require vaccination from September 15 for its most exposed employees.