NEW YORK CITY -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a COVID vaccine mandate for all private-sector employers across the board.
The mandate is set to begin on December 27.
The mayor called it a proactive, "First in the nation measure."
In addition, de Blasio said there will also be required vaccine proof for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment for children 5 to 11.
The mayor said it was an important push to get the vaccination number up for kids in that age group, which is now just 20%.
"A lot of parents want to take their kids out to wonderful things happening in the holiday season. Here's a reminder, get your child vaccinated. One dose will immediately qualify a child in any of those activities. I'm a parent, I remember vividly when my kids were going to school. You don't end up in the situation where a child is left unprotected. I urge parents really strongly get that vaccination. It's safe, it's proven. Heres another incentive to do it," Mayor de Blasio said.
Indoor activities also now require two vaccine doses, up from one for adults.
"We are under attack from the coronavirus. We've got omicron as a new factor, colder weather, which is really going to create additional challenges with the delta variant. We've got holiday gatherings. We in New York City have decided to use a preemptive strike to really do something bold to stop the further growth of covid and the dangers it causes to all of us," Mayor de Blasio said.
The mayor said he does not anticipate legal challenges.
"We are confident because it's universal. Our health commissioner has put a series of mandates in place. They have won in court, state court, federal court, every single time. It's because they are universal and consistent and protect people right now from a clear and present danger," he said.
He added that two years was long enough to be living with the COVID pandemic.
"We've got to put this covid era behind us. We've been living with this for most of two years. We've got to put it behind us, and vaccine mandates in my experience are the one thing that really breaks through," he said. "Vaccines every single time, there is a fear the vaccine won't have an impact on new variants. Well, guess what? Every single time the vaccines have worked. That's a good track record. Let's lean into it even more."