De Blasio mulls COVID booster mandate for indoor NYC events



Mayor de Blasio says he might require people to get COVID-19 booster shots if they want to attend concerts, restaurants and similar indoor venues, as the new Omicron variant continues to spread citywide.

“I think it’s a fair question that we’re going to analyze now – with all of our approaches to COVID, we’re going to update them, because we’re dealing with some new challenges at this moment,” de Blasio said Friday during his weekly appearance of WNYC radio’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

“So, that will be looked at along with a series of other actions, because it’s really dynamic right now.”

Such a new mandate could include a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Currently, the city requires proof of just a single jab to enter certain indoor businesses — including all indoor restaurants, entertainment venues and gyms.

A woman holds her smartphone open to the proof of vaccination app as she waits to be seated at Shanghai Zhen Gong Fu Chinese restaurant, in the New York City borough of Queens, NY, August 17, 2021.
The city currently requires restaurants to enforce vaccine mandates for customers.
Sipa USA via AP
A healthcare worker fills up a syringe with a dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for a booster shot at the vaccination reference center at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI) in Zurich, Switzerland November 17, 2021.
There is no information regarding if fully vaccinated people are fully protected from testing positive from the Omicron variant.
REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File

De Blasio was responding to a question from Lehrer on whether the city should require people eating indoors or attending concerts to show proof they’ve been fully vaccinated — as opposed to just having had one shot of the vaccine.

As of Saturday afternoon, there were eight cases of the Omicron variant detected statewide, including seven in the city.

A sign in a restaurant window informs customers that they will need to show proof that they are at least partly vaccinated for Covid-19 to be allowed in the business on August 20, 2021 in New York City. New York City has begun checking people’s vaccination status at museums, gym’s, restaurants and other public establishments as it becomes the nation’s largest city to exclude the unvaccinated from public places.
De Blasio says he’s looking at “a series of other actions,” to address the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Last month, the city extended eligibility for additional booster shots to everyone 18 and older, provided it’s been at least six months since their initial Moderna or Pfizer booster or at least two months since a Johnson & Johnson dose.  


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