Politics

Wu talks about vaccination progress and pushback, on WBUR

"The goal of this was not to punish anyone for how they feel about vaccination, but to ensure our workers are safe and that anyone interacting with city workers is safe."

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Mayor Michelle Wu lauded the city’s progress toward a vaccinated workforce, while recognizing the pushback she’s received from city workers who are opposed to getting a shot, during an interview with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing on WBUR.

On Sunday, Wu extended the deadline for city workers to satisfy Boston’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. No employees will be placed on leave or disciplined between Jan. 25 and Jan. 30, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

“We did see tremendous progress in boosting our vaccination rate and closing those gaps, even over the last week,” the mayor said on Radio Boston. “We’ve now had more than 1,600 additional city workers get vaccinated, since we announced this policy would be going into effect.”

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Wu said she extended the deadline to give people more time to comply with the policy. She said the city is close — 94 percent of employees are vaccinated.

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“The goal of this was not to punish anyone for how they feel about vaccination, but to ensure our workers are safe and that anyone interacting with city workers is safe,” Wu said during the interview.

Workers who oppose the policy have taken to protesting. On Monday, 100 firefighters protested the mandate outside City Hall as Wu spoke about extending the vaccination deadline. Protestors have also become a fixture outside her Roslindale home.

During the interview on WBUR, Wu said that the city’s policy concerning showing proof of vaccination at public venues, such as restaurants and gyms, is going smoothly.

She also touched on a variety of other topics, from housing insecurity, the Green New Deal, and the need for more affordable public transportation.

She also noted the need to address mental health issues in the city.

“There is a whole pandemic after the pandemic, of us needing to pay attention to mental health, and invest in the resources for people to feel supported and safe and feel connected to the community again,” Wu said.

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