The city’s largest private hospital system, New York-Presbyterian, announced last month that employees would need to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which became an outlier among the city’s major hospital systems.
However, this policy has yet to be enforced so employees can request exemptions by August 1st and receive the first shot by September 1st. More than 70 percent of the employees are vaccinated, according to Alexandra Langan, a spokeswoman for the New York Presbyterian.
Other major hospital systems in New York City are yet to make coronavirus vaccinations mandatory.
According to NYU Langone Health, a large hospital group in New York City, 81 percent of its employees are currently vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccinations would become mandatory for employees with no valid exemptions after vaccines are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, said NYU Langone spokeswoman Lisa Greiner. The vaccines are currently being administered in the United States under an emergency permit.
District Council 37, the union that represents the city’s workers, was part of talks with Mr de Blasio’s administration about vaccinating health workers, although the union did not notice the new policy until Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the matter the mayor found out.
“The union is strongly promoting vaccination among its members and we have done a lot to help our members vaccinate,” said a union spokeswoman, Freddi Goldstein. Still, she said, “the union doesn’t believe it is the employer’s job to hire them.”
Ms. Goldstein added that the union supported further testing. “Of course we have to see how everything is done,” she added.
An epidemiologist said the new city policy was better than nothing, but wondered why tests were only done once a week and why the policy had not been extended beyond healthcare to other city workers.
“One test a week is better than no test, but more frequent tests are always better when you have a lot of community transmissions and we may have this situation in the fall in unvaccinated people,” said Denis Nash, professor of epidemiology at the CUNY school for public health.
Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed to the coverage.