Union poll finds more than half of FDNY FFs say they won’t get COVID-19 vaccine
FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro said the reluctance to get the vaccine comes down to an “education issue”
By Laura French
NEW YORK — More than half of FDNY firefighters who responded to a recent union poll said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.
More than 2,000 members of the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) responded to the poll that asked the question, “Will you get the COVID-19 Vaccine from Pfizer when the Department makes it available?,” according to the New York Post. About 55% of respondents answered “No” to the survey question. The total number of respondents accounted for about a quarter of the UFA’s 8,200 active members.
UFA President Andrew Ansbro said at a press conference on Sunday that the reluctance among firefighters to get the vaccine comes down to a “real education issue,” the Post reported.
Ansbro said that about 35% of members have already contracted the virus and may believe that antibodies will keep them immune. He also said some firefighters may believe that others should receive the vaccine before them, or have misgivings about the Pfizer vaccine, which is still awaiting FDA approval.
Ansbro stressed that the department needs firefighters to be among the first to receive the vaccine, but that it is ultimately an individual firefighter’s choice to be vaccinated or not. He said that he does not believe firefighters refusing to get the vaccine will increase the public’s risk of exposure, as firefighters are wearing masks on every call.
The UFA will work with the department to encourage every member to be vaccinated for the virus, Ansbro said.