Photo Credit: NYC Mayor's Office / YouTube screenshot
NYC Mayor Eric Adams, NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan on Sept. 20, 2022

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has canceled the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the city’s private sector but left the mandate in place for municipal workers.

Adams announced the move Tuesday together with the city’s Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan.

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Vaccines are also now optional for students who participate in extracurricular activities, including the city’s public school athletic league (PSAL).

“We are launching a new campaign in the next week that encourages all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection for themselves and those around them,” Adams noted.

“With so many tools now more easily accessible to keep New Yorkers safe from COVID-19, the additional flexibility we are announcing for private employers, students, and parents puts the choice back into each of their hands.

“We urge all New Yorkers to make a plan to get vaccinated if they are eligible, and we are grateful to the millions of New Yorkers who have already stepped up to keep themselves and their community safe.”

Adams received his own COVID-19 bivalent booster shot on Tuesday while making the announcement.

In the next week, print, television, radio, and digital ads will go live across New York City promoting booster shots.

With the recent rollout of bivalent booster shots by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the new campaign will encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster shot for an added layer of protection for themselves and those around them.

In addition to promotion of COVID-19 booster shots, the campaign being launched in the next week will promote other annual vaccinations as well.

“The mayor’s decision to allow individual employers to determine COVID-19 protocols is most welcome,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO, Partnership for New York City. “It will accelerate return to the office and encourage New Yorkers to move beyond the pandemic mentality.”

The city is continuing to “strongly urge” private employers to put in place their own vaccine mandates; meanwhile, the city will continue implementation of the city worker vaccination mandate for its own employees.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.