The American metropolis of New York is tightening the corona rules for employees of public hospitals. They must be vaccinated or undergo a weekly corona test, reports The New York Times. This concerns more than 42,000 hospital employees and some of the personnel of the Public Health Department of the municipality.
Mayor Bill de Blasio opts for that emergency measure, according to the newspaper, because the Delta variant of the corona virus is spreading and two million adults in the city are still unvaccinated. The municipality has tried everything to increase vaccination rates, including going from home to home and offering vaccines in public locations such as subway stations and museums.
The campaigns, according to the newspaper, have had little success. On average, fewer than 10,000 people get their first injection every day in the metropolis of approximately eight million inhabitants. It also worries the authorities that some of the medical staff will be left behind. Vaccination rates among public hospital staff are below the city average, although health care providers came first when the vaccinations kicked off late last year.
Local officials see a connection with the composition of the staff in public hospitals. About 44 percent of the employees there are black. Black New Yorkers make up about a quarter of the total population and have been more reluctant to get vaccines in the past, the paper writes. There are many reasons for this, from concerns about long-term effects to medical experiments that have been performed on black people in the past.
It is unclear whether the municipality also wants to tighten the policy for other government personnel, such as teachers and police officers. The metropolis does not go as far as San Francisco with the new rules. There, the local authorities have already announced that everyone who works for the municipality will eventually be subject to a vaccination obligation.
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