With less than a month left in office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new vaccine mandate on MSNBC for private employers set to take effect on December 27th. This first-in-the-nation mandate will apply to about private 184,000 businesses. Questions remain about the legality of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rash vaccine mandate with no testing option.
New York City’s vaccine mandate is coming from the health commissioner who, under state law, has the right to enact such an order when there is a significant threat against public health. Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed to the emergence of the omicron variant as a reason behind the sweeping mandate, touting his decision as a “preemptive strike” against Covid-19. Yet, a report published recently by the South African Medical Research Council suggested that the omicron variant could cause milder infection. Even Dr. Fauci himself called the preliminary data about the severity of the new variant a “bit encouraging.” New York City’s vaccination rate is higher than in the rest of the state, with nearly 90% of adult New Yorkers having received at least one vaccine dose. Still, New York City’s leaders seem adamant in perpetuating a state of fear with no scientific basis.
Under the new mandate, children ages 5 to 11 will need to show proof of at least one shot to enter indoor establishments. Citywide, nearly 50% of children ages 5 to 17 have received at least one vaccine dose, despite countless studies that children are far less likely than adults to get severely ill or die from Covid-19. In some Nordic countries, for example, the Moderna vaccine is limited over the risk of myocarditis. In November, the FDA asked for 55 years to complete a Freedom of Information Act request for data and information on the approval of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. The FDA released the first round of documents it reviewed before licensing Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Among the documents produced is a Cumulative Analysis of Post-Authorization Adverse Event Reports of [the Vaccine] Received Through 28-Feb-2021. This document reveals adverse events reported after vaccination that have completed Pfizer’s “workflow cycle,” in and outside the United States up to February 28, 2021. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine on December 11, 2020, meaning that the first round of documents show adverse events reported within a mere two and a half months of its authorization. In the document, Pfizer explains that “due to the large numbers of spontaneous adverse event reports received for the product, [Pfizer] has prioritized the processing of serious cases…” The document shows that in the two and a half months following the Emergency Use Authorization, Pfizer received more than 42,000 reports containing nearly 159,000 “events.”
The choice of whether to vaccinate the population must rest on individuals and their doctors, particularly when it comes to vaccinating young children. According to New York State’s Department of Health, the creation of a vaccine usually requires 10 to 15 years of research before the vaccine becomes available to the general public. Less than a year after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, the vaccines were already rolled out. Knowledge of the long-term effects of Covid-19 vaccinations seems far beyond our reach for now. As such, there is no justification behind making the vaccine compulsory, and while mandatory vaccination may be justified for highly contagious serious diseases, Covid-19 is not classified as a high-consequence infectious disease due to its low case fatality rate.
New York City was one of the first major cities to lock down at the beginning of the pandemic. The lockdowns did not contain the spread of the virus, but they did contribute to low morale and an economic downturn. Small businesses in New York City are still feeling the negative impacts of the pandemic nearly two years after it began. Additionally, small businesses are facing new challenges with supply chains and hiring difficulties. Only one in five small businesses in New York reported a return to normal operations in October 2021, and the mayor’s unnecessary new mandate is bound to exacerbate the problem by making it harder for businesses to hire and for families to go out to eat. Several business leaders have voiced their concerns, claiming to be “blindsided,” by the new mandates. With only three weeks left before the mandate takes effect, businesses will have no choice but to make operational changes to be in compliance, adding yet another needless burden to their plate. On his way out of office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has revealed yet another nail in the coffin of once was one of the greatest cities on earth.