NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At the end of this weekend, firefighters, police officers and other city workers who remain without at least one shot of the COVID vaccine will go on unpaid leave.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says overall, 91% of city workers are now vaccinated.

READ MORE: With Deadline To Get Vaccinated Passed, 12-Hour Shifts Begin For Correction Workers On Rikers Island

The NYPD has increased its vaccinated members to 84%. Fire and EMS both increased to 72% and 84% respectively. The Department of Sanitation has 77% of employees with at least one shot, a 10% jump from Friday.

Pushback to the mandate is heating up with both mayoral candidates battling each other on the issue.


Denis Boyle’s West Brighton home overlooks a firehouse, where neighbors fear the vaccine mandate stand off already hits home.

“I’d be worried if they were short-staffed,” Boyle told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

FDNY is confirming some of its units, but not entire firehouses, are temporarily shut down. CBS2 wanted to know which units and did not get the answers.

What this likely does to emergency response troubles neighbors.

“If there’s not enough guys to come, God forbid somebody has a heart attack or if they’re not able to get there and have enough guys take care of it,” Boyle said.

“That’s dangerous,” West Brighton resident Daniel Lugo said. “I don’t want to see people lose their lives or even other firemen because they didn’t have the back-up that they needed.”

As we get closer to Monday, tensions rise that more firehouses become dangerously short-staffed.

READ MORE: ER At Long Beach Hospital That Initially Closed Due To Vaccine Hesitancy To Reopen Friday Morning

Vaccinate or lose your paycheck when the weekend ends is a deadline that angers some firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers and others.

The city claims this has already prompted sick-outs, especially among firefighters, some believed to be taking medical leave in protest.


Candidates for mayor Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa made the mandate the main topic at Saturday campaign stops.

Adams wants better communication with unions but said vaccinations come with certain jobs.

“We took an oath of office to protect the city. I wore that uniform as a police officer. We were all first responders. Let’s put the people of the city first,” Adams said. “I think it’s imperative for the mayor to resolve this issue with the union leadership and get this done.”

Sliwa, fresh from his Friday pedestrian accident involving a cab, called the mandates “incredibly oppressive” and an insult to essential workers.

“I know it’s gonna be horrific on Monday,” Sliwa said.

He visited firehouses to tell those working in them that the mandates must go and Gov. Kathy Hochul must go over the mayor’s head to roll them back.

“She should do the right thing or New York City will be in peril,” Sliwa said. “You can imagine less firefighters, less response, potentially people killed.”

De Blasio holds firm, repeatedly saying he will not extend the deadline.

MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Urging Gov. Hochul To Mandate COVID Vaccines For MTA Employees

Editor’s note: This story was first published Oct. 30.

Dave Carlin