NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday marked the second day of enforcement of Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s vaccine mandate for city workers.

Since Monday, 2,000 more employees got the COVID-19 shot, which means 92% of the workforce is now vaccinated.

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

But for the thousands still holding out, some charge there is still an impact on services, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.

Over Engine 310 in East Flatbush, a banner read “Firehouse Closed Due To De Blasio Mandate,” though hours later it was taken down.

The Uniformed Firefighters Association tweeted photos showing almost a dozen unvaccinated firefighters sent home out of a Bath Beach firehouse.

Department wide, almost a quarter of firefighters are not vaccinated. Most firehouses have two companies and the unions say around 60 companies out of 300-plus were out of service Monday. FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro contends resources are being redistributed and all calls are being responded to, but the unions say the city is hiding the struggle.

“Right now, New York City firefighters are being worked to their limits,” UFA President Andrew Ansbro said. “You would expect medical leave to go up because you have more members doing more work with less companies out there doing more hours.”


The FDNY confirmed both Monday and Tuesday around 2,000 firefighters called out sick, which is more than double the daily average.

The commissioner believes some are taking “bogus sick leave” in protest.

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“This assertion that people are faking is incorrect. Doctors examine people every three days, they come back to the department medical office and get examined again,” FDNY union leader Jim McCarthy said.

An unvaccinated firefighter who didn’t want to give his name for fear of retaliation said he is weighing retirement after 28 years of service.

“One of the things that we were told during 9/11, which I responded to, was that the air was safe,” the firefighter said. “So they lied to us then and right now there’s just not enough information with this vaccine. I’m prone to other medical conditions as a result of 9/11, and I’m worried about what that can do to my health.”

Seventeen percent of Department of Sanitation workers are not vaccinated, so to pick up the slack workers spent Election Day — typically a holiday — collecting trash.

They’re also working longer hours — 12-hour shifts.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said only 89 cops, a fraction of 1%, are off the job for due to COVID restrictions and there’s no impact on services.

Around 12,000 city workers are still working while waiting to hear back on whether religious or medical exemptions will be approved.

“It’ll play out over days, even several weeks,” Mayor de Blasio said. “And in the past with Health + Hospitals, with the Department of Education, the vast majority of people who were told no, actually your application isn’t approved, they then chose to get vaccinated, and I expect that to happen again here.”

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CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge contributed to this report.