Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted that serious disruptions would be avoided, even as thousands of police officers, firefighters and other essential workers remain unvaccinated.
New York City officials are bracing for the possibility that thousands of essential workers — including police officers, firefighters and sanitation employees — could be placed on unpaid leave starting Monday, when the city’s sweeping mandate requiring that almost all municipal workers receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine takes effect.
With just over one-third of the workers in the Fire and Sanitation Departments, and one-quarter of the police force, yet to prove that they had been vaccinated as of Thursday morning, city agencies were putting in place an array of contingency plans, including mandating overtime for vaccinated workers and canceling vacations to fill staffing gaps.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat in his second term who issued the mandate, predicted on Thursday that many city workers would get a shot at the last minute, as happened just before similar mandates took effect in recent months for health care workers and school employees.
“I am not having second thoughts,” Mr. de Blasio said, adding that he was confident the city would not face serious disruptions. “We expected that a lot of the vaccinations would happen toward the end of the deadline.”
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