New York City ends COVID-19 vaccination mandate for city workers

Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate would end on Feb. 10 for New York City workers.
He said it because 96% of city workers are already fully vaccinated and 80% of people who live in the five boroughs have received at least the initial series of shots. 
There have been several court rulings against the mandates over the last few months that may have also pushed the city in this direction. Last month, a state Supreme Court judge struck down a statewide mandate requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Beginning Friday, the vaccine will be optional for anyone who currently works for the city or is applying for a new job. The city says the nearly 1,800 workers who lost their jobs for not giving a proof of vaccination will not be getting their old positions or jobs back – but can reapply for openings.
Union leaders are seizing on the issue.
The Police Benevolent Association is calling for everyone to get their jobs back with back pay, without condition.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association hosted a news conference Monday afternoon, saying it has been told the FDNY will be offering people their jobs back if they were fired in the last year. It also said lawsuits are in the works to get those firefighters back the money they lost.
"It was illegal. It was a punishment, and they weren't given due process," said UFOA President Jim McCarthy.
Another part of the mayors' announcement – visitors to city public school buildings won't have to show proof of vaccination for sports games, presentations or any other school activities.
Adams and medical professionals are continuing to recommend that residents receive COVID-19 vaccinations.