Iceland, NY – If you are a New York City school teacher or state health care worker and have not received a coronavirus vaccine, you are now out of a job after a recent COVID-19 vaccination mandate went into effect.
Tom Wierman taught health and physical education at MS 101 in the Bronx for the past two decades. Even though the Long Island native was up for weekly testing, without vaccinations, he’s out of a job.
“I have COVID antibodies and we know that natural immunity is stronger than vaccination, yet I am not allowed to teach,” he said.
The CDC is urging everyone if they have COVID to get the vaccine because it will create a better immune response to the delta version. According to city officials, 95% of the city’s education department’s 150,000 employees have been vaccinated. People like Tom who have not been vaccinated were put on unpaid leave. The same goes for health workers.
Stephanie Touchet was an orthopedic associate at Orlin & Cohen, an associate at Northwell Health. He is one of 1,400 employees who have been fired for refusing to comply with a state and systemic requirement to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The 39-year-old cited religious and medical exemptions as why he decided not to vaccinate.
“I have two kids that I have to raise,” she said. “Luckily I put the money aside.”
As of September 29, 87% of hospital workers in New York were fully vaccinated, according to state health statistics.
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Northwell, which employs more than 76,000 people, said in a statement that immunization of all of its employees will allow the provider to “provide exceptional care without interruption across all of our hospitals and keep all of our facilities open and open.” will enable it to remain fully operational.”
Dr. Matthew Harris, medical director of the COVID-19 Vaccine Program at Northwell Health, is encouraging everyone to get the vaccine as long as they do not have a life-threatening allergy to it or any of its components.
“The world’s major religions, including the Catholic Church, have come out in support of the vaccine,” he said. “They are safe, effective vaccines and it’s really important to get them.”