NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 1,000 people protested the mayor’s COVID vaccine mandates outside City Hall on Wednesday.
The rally came just two days after the city announced a new rule requiring all school staff to be vaccinated with no option for testing.READ MORE: NYC Teacher, Principal Unions Warn Of School Staffing Shortages When Vaccine Mandate Takes Effect; De Blasio Says Substitutes Standing By
Now, the city’s largest police union is threatening to sue if the mandate expands to officers.
With signs in hand, more than 1,000 people protested mandatory vaccinations outside City Hall Park on Wednesday.
Among them were city employees, MTA train operators and parents.
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“They’re using us as lab rats,” city employee Kim Williams, of Queens, said.
“I’m not taking the vaccine,” MTA train operator Evangaline Byars said.
“We don’t have the long-term side effects or risks yet,” one parent said.
Mom and school teacher Katherine Class, of Brooklyn, is standing up for what she believes is right in a big way.
She told CBS2’s Cory James she quit her job days ago because she refuses to be forced into getting the vaccine.READ MORE: CDC Backs Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots For Millions Of Seniors And Some Others
“It wasn’t safe for me to be in a situation where I’m being mandated to put an injection in my body,” she said. “And I also have two daughters, and I don’t want them to be wearing masks all day in school.”
Nationwide, cases of the virus in children have surged over the last month, going from around 38,000 at the end of July to more than 180,000 last week.
In New York City, officials report 96.9% of COVID hospitalizations are people who are not vaccinated.
Other New Yorkers think these details are important to remember.
“If everyone gets vaccinated, we recover faster,” said Iftakar Sabit, of Brooklyn.
“I believe in science, so I feel good about it,” Staten Island resident Yola Citozi said.
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If the city expands mandates, it can expect a fight.
The NYPD’s Police Benevolent Association is vowing to sue if officers are required to get the shot, saying in part it will “defend our members’ right to make such personal medical decisions.”
At this time, the city has not stated whether it will require police officers and law enforcement members to get the vaccine.MORE NEWS: 'I'm Going To Risk It:' CBS2 Finds Many Subway Riders Still Not Wearing Masks As MTA Starts Issuing Fines
Meanwhile, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday he supports a vaccine mandate for his members.