New York City Mayor Eric Adams has not upheld the city’s mandate to vaccinate employees of private companies against the coronavirus and has no plans to inspect or fine companies that do not follow the rules.
Newsday first reported on the lack of enforcement of the vaccine mandate for private employers.
“We are focused on prioritizing education rather than enforcement when it comes to the private sector mandate, and so far we have been able to get more than 87 percent of all New Yorkers on their first dose,” Fabien Levy, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, said in an email.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a vaccine mandate in December for employees at private companies, the most far-reaching local measure in the United States at the time. The mandate covered approximately 184,000 companies of all sizes with employees working locally in New York City.
Those concerns were not unfounded. During the first week of the mandate, from December 27 to December 31, only 31 percent of the 3,025 inspected companies were found to be in compliance. But the Adams administration has halted those inspections and no companies have actually been fined under his administration.
The city has been stricter in enforcing its vaccine mandate for public sector workers, many of whom have been fired for not following regulations.
Ninety-one percent of people in New York City have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 78 percent of people have been fully vaccinated, according to DailyExpertNews’ coronavirus vaccine tracker.
Vaccine mandates, and their enforcement, are still essential, said Dr. Denis Nash, an epidemiologist at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health.
“I believe that mandating vaccination in certain settings, such as workplaces or locations, has the potential to increase vaccine coverage at the population level,” said Dr. nash.
But, he added, the mandates need “an incentive or discouragement,” otherwise people are unlikely to comply with them.