Eight unvaccinated members of the NYPD have been hospitalized in serious condition, including a 23-year-old police officer, Commissioner Dermot Shea said Thursday as he urged others to get vaccinated.
In a video message addressing police officers, Shea said the members who are sick we’re all perfectly healthy before they were infected and now some of them are on ventilators. Overall, Shea said the NYPD has a vaccination rate of 61% as of Wednesday — which leaves over 20,000 employees vulnerable to the coronavirus.
"We still have 39% of the NYPD that are unvaccinated," Shea said. "Why do I keep coming back to you on this? I'll tell you why, because I'm talking to family members. I'm talking to union representatives of multiple ranks. I'm talking to you and your partners when it's too late, when you're in the hospital or you're driving to the hospital and you're having difficulty breathing."
Shea described the current number of unvaccinated employees as “bad news.”
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In his impassioned plea for officers to get the shot, he said 225 of 28,000 vaccinated members tested positive after the shot and emphasized how vaccines can save lives.
"That's how you can make a difference right now, if you wait, it could be too late. Think about a 23-year-old perfectly healthy. And now fighting, fighting for his life," Shea told officers. "Spread the word and make sure that we are doing everything possible to keep each and every one of ourselves safe from this terrible virus."