"We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of COVID and the dangers it is causing to all of us", Mayor Bill de Blasio said while announcing a new vaccine mandate in a broadcast message. "All private sector employers in New York City will be covered by this vaccine mandate
as of December 27."
Under the ruling, New York City will require businesses to show proof of two vaccine doses
for their employees instead of the previous one, the mayor said. That effectively means proof of a complete Pfizer or Moderna series of vaccines or proof of a Johnson & Johnson shot along with a booster.
De Blasio’s measure came on the heels of Thursday’s announcement by New York City health authorities of at least five cases of Omicron after the first US case reported a day prior to that in California. The total number of coronavirus cases in the city has also increased rapidly in recent weeks, with daily case counts rising more than 75 percent since November 1.
New York City was an early epicenter for the COVID-19 in 2020. The pandemic has so far infected more than 920,000 of the city's residents over the past 20 months, hospitalizing over 100,000 of them and killing more than 32,000.
It is not known how successful a blanket order on vaccinations in the city will be. Millions of health care workers across the United States were supposed to have their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine from the start of this week under an order by the Biden administration
, but legal challenges have stalled that mandate.