As COVID cases rise, NYC makes another vaccine push

The delta variant is to blame for the increase in COVID cases across New York City. With 1,365 new cases, the mayor is pushing even harder for New Yorkers to get vaccinated — and quickly. 

"The voluntary phase is over," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "It's time to mix mandates into this approach."

Proof of vaccination will be required for indoor dining, entertainment, and fitness. 

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The mayor said the $100 incentive and mandates are working. Over the past week, 80,000 New Yorkers got their first dose. 

"Compare that to 57,000 for the first week in July — 41% increase in such a brief period of time, so, clearly something's working," de Blasio said. "The message is getting through."

In addition, this week the city said health providers have more than doubled the number of doses they have ordered.

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With just a few weeks away from the first day of school, city health officials are working against the clock to get parents to get their children fully vaccinated by the first day of school. Aug. 9 is the deadline for children 12 to 17 to get their first shot.

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But vaccination hesitancy remains. Rates in parts of Queens are very low. Health officials and politicians, including Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams, were in Far Rockaway Thursday morning encouraging people to get the shot. Vaccination rates in that ZIP code lag the rest of the city — only 38% of the residents have been inoculated.

Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa is denouncing de Blasio's COVID mandates. 

"We stand in unity against these mandates, against these crackdowns," Sliwa said. "We are not France, we are not Italy. We are America, where we are free."

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