New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that the city aims to vaccinate 10,000 police officers against the coronavirus by Sunday.
At his daily briefing, De Blasio said police officers and jail guards were now eligible to receive vaccines under guidance provided by state officials. The guidelines released by the state do not explicitly say that police officers can now be vaccinated, but a de Blasio spokesperson said city officials were told they could count police and corrections officers as frontline workers eligible for the shots.
De Blasio said the city wanted to make sure “all these frontline workers, folks who work directly with everyday New Yorkers, folks who do things like having to perform CPR or working in very close proximity, that they're going to get the opportunity to be vaccinated starting right now.”
In a statement, the president of the city’s police union, Patrick Lynch, applauded the move, saying it cleared the way to protect “both police and the New Yorkers” they help every day.
In a tweet, Lynch said the pandemic had strengthened the bond between police and other first responders who have been prioritized for vaccination, calling them a “frontline family.”
New York City has about 35,000 uniformed police, of whom about 25,000 regularly deal with the general public.
De Blasio said the expanded vaccine eligibility guidelines included home health aides.