43 percent of NYPD employees vaccinated: report

43 percent of NYPD employees vaccinated: report
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The New York City Police Department has only vaccinated 43 percent of its workforce so far, even though tens of thousands of its members have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

"Currently the NYPD vaccination rate, which only includes vaccinations administered by the Department to members of the service, is approximately 43%," the department said in a statement.

This number lags significantly behind that of the city's overall adult population, with 70 percent vaccinated according to the city's COVID-19 data.

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According to the NYPD, over 11,000 of its members have contracted the COVID-19 thus far.

"Since vaccines became available we have encouraged our employees, especially those who have contact with the public, to get vaccinated," it added. "We have made vaccinations available at multiple times and at multiple locations to ensure that as many of our employees as possible get the vaccination."

Despite having focused its efforts on "strong education and encouragement," the department stopped short of requiring its members to get vaccinated.

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioBiden rolls dice by getting more aggressive on vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge On The Money: Biden asks Congress to extend eviction ban with days until expiration | Economic growth rose to 6.5 percent annual rate in second quarter MORE (D) addressed this shortcoming in his daily press briefing on Thursday.

When asked if the NYPD should be given a vaccine requirement as city health workers have, de Blasio said the NYPD had put together "a fantastic vaccination effort," but said the department and "every other agency [has] gotta do better. We gotta go farther."

De Blasio was pressed on the NYPD's statement that pointed to the infected members as having a "far lower likelihood" of re-contracting the disease.

The mayor acknowledged that there is some protection when a person recovers from COVID-19, but said it "pales in comparison to the vaccine."

"Before widespread vaccination, that's one thing, but when you have vaccination available to anybody, everybody, all the time, anywhere — it's time for people to get vaccinated," de Blasio said, adding that he would ask New York City Department of Health commissioner Dave Chokshi to follow up with the NYPD to ensure that its vaccination material is updated.