NEW YORK — The New York City Police Department says 72% of its force is vaccinated ahead of Friday's deadline for all city workers to comply.
Appearing on "Mornings On 1" Tuesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said while the window to receive the shot is closing, there are still plenty of opportunities for members to get it.
"We have to prepare as if this is going to go into effect Friday evening, and that's exactly what we're doing," said Shea. "So you know, anyone at this point in time, unless something changes, will be put into a leave-without-pay status."
The police commissioner said the department is continuing to do outreach after a large protest march against the vaccine mandate took place Monday over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Lower Manhattan.
Some participants in that march carried police symbols and wore NYPD clothing.
At the same time, the Police Benevolent Association is pursuing legal action to overturn the mandate in the long term, but also suspend it in the short term.
"What I would urge people is, don't wait 'til the last moment," said Shea. "Get the vaccine. Get it for the right reason too. Remember, it was only last week that we lost our 63rd member."
Data shows COVID-19 is now the number one killer of police officers nationwide.