Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The clinics are free and open to the public, but getting to the clinics can be difficult
The number of new patients seen in Manhattan getting immunised against influenza surged after the city’s largest health workers union passed a rule on vaccinations.
However, 26,000 city workers still refuse to get vaccinated against the flu.
If it happens, that would make the requirement of vaccinations for even non-union employees, like restaurant workers, teachers and firemen, possible.
The union, the Municipal Labor Service Employees Union, has resisted changing the policy, insisting it brings health care workers closer to federal standards.
In February, the union’s international general council approved a mandate of flu vaccinations for the city’s 59,000-strong workforce, representing more than 300,000 city employees.
But even before that came into effect, many workers had not yet opted for vaccination, because the requirement was voluntary.
Flu cases in New York City rose from 613 in 2017 to 726 in 2018, according to the city health department.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Public health officials say that as well as contributing to flu cases, the disease can be particularly deadly
Public health officials say that as well as contributing to flu cases, the disease can be particularly deadly.
City officials urge the 26,000 non-union employees not to receive any other vaccinations without getting the flu vaccine.
A group of New York City boardrooms have begun waiving vaccine fees for employees who need them.
The city has reported that health department officials have reached out to non-union employees to remind them of the new policy.