At the same time, Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson warned last week that the city could experience service delays depending on the availability of manpower. To date, about 3,800 sanitation workers, or about 37%, have not received a vaccine.
“On Monday, I’m going to report to work, and they’re going to have to send me home, and that’s it,” said Jonathan Vasquez, a 40-year-old sanitation worker. “We have gone from essential to consumable. “
Like many in attendance, Vasquez claimed the vaccine had been rushed and had not been properly tested. In fact, vaccines have undergone an unprecedented level of safety oversight, are based on over a decade of biomedical research, and are considered safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration.
A few hours after the anti-vaccine demonstration, the Police Benevolent Association filed a complaint to block the requirement, arguing that the city had offered “no explanation, let alone rational, for the need to violate the autonomy and privacy of NYPD agents in such a harsh manner, under threat of dismissal.”
As of Oct. 15, firefighters had a 60% vaccination rate, while the NYPD was at 69%. The city agency with the lowest vaccination rate was the Corrections Department, with only half of the employees receiving the vaccine.
The mayor’s office declined to comment on the protest.