With eight unvaccinated NYPD officers hospitalized with COVID-19, Commissioner Dermot Shea issued an impassioned plea for his vaccine hesitant staffers to come forward to be vaccinated.
Shea called for his NYPD officers to overcome their vaccine hesitancy, noting even healthy and young officers who were unvaccinated were being hospitalized for COVID-19 infections, CNN reported.
"Why do I keep coming back to you on this?" Shea says in the internal video aired on CNN. "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 lamented the unvaccinated representing 100% of the NYPD hospitalizations and among 28,000 NYPD officers who have been vaccinated, only 225 have tested positive for COVID-19 afterward but none of them have been hospitalized, according to CNN.
"Right now, we have eight members of the NYPD in the hospital," Shea continued on the internal video. "All eight unvaccinated, serious condition, some intubated."
Shea added some of the hospitalized were "perfectly healthy" before contracting COVID-19, including "one 23 years old," Shea added.
"One person hadn't gotten sick in 10 years and we recently lost him."
Vaccine hesitancy has been a widely reported issue nationwide for police officers, particularly as it relates to unions seeking to push back against vaccination mandates.
Just 62% of NYPD officers have at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than one third remain unvaccinated, according to CNN.
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