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New York City is offering city workers sick leave in effort to get kids vaccinated

November 8, 2021, 5:45 PM UTC

New York City is extending additional paid sick leave to city workers and contractors so they can get their children vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a briefing Monday.

He said workers would get four extra hours per child for each shot their children receive. 

“You shouldn’t have to choose between your paycheck and the health of your family,” the mayor said.

There’s also proposed legislation in the city council to extend the additional four hours of sick leave to private sector workers, said Peter Hatch, commissioner of the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection. If the law is passed, workers would be able to apply the sick leave retroactively to Nov. 2, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared the way for the vaccine for children ages five to 11.

The city began offering children shots at city-run sites last week and at schools this week. Almost 17,000 young children have been vaccinated, de Blasio said.

Four sites had a delay in getting their supply, and that’s being fixed, de Blasio said Monday. The mayor said he also heard reports of lines at 12 schools. 

“We laid in supply and staffing for the amount of demand we expected,” the mayor said. “If we’re seeing more demand, well that’s a good thing but we’ve got to catch up with it quickly.”

Schools are meant to have vaccine sites for at least one day this week, but the city is prepared to add days if necessary to meet demand. “We’ll make that assessment in the course of today and if our team sees any place that needs an additional day added this week or next week, we’ll do it right away,” he said.

Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said the city already shifted supply Sunday and Monday morning in accordance with demand. The city will also help direct parents to other locations, like city-run sites and pharmacies, if they can’t get a shot at school. “There is adequate vaccine across the city,” he said.

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