Vaccine mandate showdowns intensifying

NEW YORK CITY (NBC) – In cities all over the country, the showdown is intensifying over COVID vaccine mandates, including New York City, where police officers, firefighters, and other city workers must show proof of vaccination by Friday night or risk losing their jobs.

About 160,000 workers employed by New York City have until 5:00 p.m. Friday to show they have at least one shot, and with that deadline fast approaching, the F.D.N.Y., the largest fire department in the country, is now preparing for a possible shortage of first responders next week.

Thursday, hundreds of firefighters and their supporters protested outside Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home.

The mayor says just 65 percent of the city’s firefighters have received at least one shot. Union officials say up to 1/5 of fire companies could close. But, the city says it will make do though, explaining mandatory overtime and canceling vacations if necessary.

Nationwide, vaccine requirements remain a flashpoint. The popular burger chain “In-N-Out” just shut down more restaurants for indoor dining in California, rather than follow county mandates to check diners for vaccines and 21 Republican attorneys general have just signed a letter challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for federal contractors.

And in Chicago, first responders are asking a judge to block a vaccine mandate order but the mayor there says the vast majority of city employees are complying.

In New York City, the police commissioner said this morning that another 1500 cops just got vaccinated yesterday. That means about 80 percent of the N.Y.P.D. has gotten at least one shot, and city officials hope there will be a surge in vaccinations at the last minute.

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