After more than six months of New York’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, during which residents were given “every form of incentives,” the city has “reached the limits of a purely voluntary system,” de Blasio said.
“Any type of mandate helps. It will move the ball. It will get more people vaccinated,” he added.
Both President Joe Biden and de Blasio have fallen short of their vaccination goals. The mayor had aimed to have 5 million New Yorkers fully inoculated against the virus by the end of June, but the current total is less than 4.5 million. Nationwide, the flow of Americans getting Covid-19 shots has plunged since, reaching a daily peak of 4.6 million in April, averaging around 500,000 a day in recent weeks, as those who wanted the jabs have already had plenty of opportunity to get them.
Earlier this week, De Blasio ordered that employees of New York’s public hospital system and Health Department clinics need to get vaccinated or be tested for Covid-19 every week. He admitted that he hoped such testing would become so tiresome that recalcitrant employees would find it in their interest to be inoculated, and he wants the private sector to use the same sort of tactics.