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The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to first responders as soon as this month, but a poll of New York City Firefighters revealed a majority will refuse it.
The findings of about 55% saying they will not take the vaccine come from a Uniformed Firefighters Association poll of 2,053 members – about 25% of UFA’s 8,200 active members – the New York Post reported.
The FDNY will not make the vaccine mandatory, it announced this week. Notably, FDNY has more than 130 COVID-19 positive cases as of Friday, and at least six firehouses have three or more cases, a source told the Post.
“A lot of them probably feel they are not in a risk category, they are younger, stronger, they may have already had it and gotten through it, and feel it’s not their problem,” UFA President Andy Ansbro told the Post.
“They are more familiar with the coronavirus than they are with the vaccine.”
Vaccine skepticism has been common of late, potentially leaving NYC’s frontline as spreaders.
“The 55% doesn’t surprise me: They’re called the bravest, not the smartest,” a veteran FDNY member lamented to the Post.
“It’s saving their lives, and the lives of their co-workers, families, friends, and the people they take care of. They respond to live-threatening medical emergencies. The last thing you want is a family member in dire straits being worked on by an unvaccinated firefighter.”
In August, a survey showed only 30% of 645 polled MTA workers would definitely take the vaccine, while 38% were unsure, and 32% would definitely not, according to a Transport Workers Union (TWU) poll.
“The main reason for not taking it or being unsure was the lack of trust in its safety,” according to the New York University pollster for the TWU.
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