Unvaccinated city workers rally ahead of Friday's COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadline

The workers, who are on unpaid leave, marched from Brooklyn to City Hall ahead of Friday's deadline.

News 12 Staff

Feb 7, 2022, 10:49 PM

Updated 834 days ago

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Thousands of unvaccinated city workers rallied Monday against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that could lead to their terminations.
The workers, who are on unpaid leave, marched from Brooklyn to City Hall ahead of Friday's deadline.
Orline Borno has been a teacher in the Department of Education for 26 years. She said she's one of thousands of city employees who received a letter in the mail that said they have until Friday Feb. 11 to get at least one COVID-19 shot or lose their jobs.
"I feel like part of my life is gone. I dream about teaching, and it's sad I'm not in a classroom. Twenty-six years of service with the DOE is being just -- being kicked aside and that's not right," Borno said.
Paul Schweit is a firefighter who said the last three months of unpaid leave have been emotionally draining.
"To be faced with this decision and this struggle on a daily basis, I wake up every morning asking for the strength to keep on fighting and asking for hope that things will change," Schweit said. 
City data shows that as of last Wednesday, at least 95% of the entire city workforce has received at least one COVID-19 shot.
For thousands of others, however, they said they're hoping the city will give them a choice.
News 12 reached out to several city agencies for comment.
The DOE said simply "vaccine mandates work" and it's thankful to the staff who have gotten vaccinated.
The Department of Sanitation says it hopes that any unvaccinated employees will take steps to protect themselves and others.
VACCINE INFORMATION: What you need to know


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