Avoiding vaccine puts everyone else at risk — double for first responders
“They’re called the Bravest, not the Smartest,” cracked one FDNY member, referring to firefighters who say they will refuse the COVID vaccine. Whatever the reason, that’s the city’s sworn protectors adding to the public’s risks.
As The Post’s Sara Dorn reports, a poll found that 55 percent of FDNY firefighters say they’ll skip the shot. First responders are to be offered the vaccine early on, but union boss Andrew Ansbro says some members “don’t want to be on the front of the line.”
He notes that 35 percent were already exposed to the virus and thus think they don’t need the shot. Wrong: They can still get reinfected — and so spread the bug.
Firefighters aren’t alone: Just 30 percent of MTA workers will definitely get the vaccine, a survey showed. Emergency Medical Service workers are skeptical, too, says their union’s boss — which is appalling.
And nearly half of all city residents are hesitant, the Health Department found.
This is at least partly the fruit of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democrats cynically sowing doubt about any vaccine produced on President Trump’s watch. Americans “should be skeptical,” the gov said in October.
That wasn’t just preposterous, suggesting respected scientists would fudge their standards for political reasons. It was also reckless, since it’s key that at least 75 percent of people be inoculated to reach herd immunity. Monday, Cuomo admitted that figure “is going to be very hard to reach.”
This risks a huge self-inflicted tragedy, prolonging the pandemic. Tests of tens of thousands show the vaccines are safe. So getting the shot is a low-risk way to protect others, as first responders do every day.
The city needs every leader to stand up for vaccination — especially in vax-suspicious communities.
Under Jewish law, Rabbi Avi Weiss wrote in The Post, “if the science says it’s helpful to take the vaccine, we should do so.”
“I want to tell everybody, you’re not getting the 666” — the devil — from the vaccine, assured City Councilman Fernando Cabrera (D-Bx.) during services at the church where he serves as pastor.
Let’s hope FDNY chaplains and leaders join in. The sooner we all get the shot, the sooner COVID becomes history.