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New York City will require proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities, including visiting gyms and restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The mandate is the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, according to de Blasio. France and Italy announced similar requirements last month.

  • Last month, de Blasio announced that all city workers would be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.

State of play: The mandate will move forward beginning the week of Aug. 16 and be fully enforced starting Sept. 13, when schools reopen and people start returning to in-person work.

  • New York City will create a health pass called the "Key to NYC Pass" for New Yorkers to provide proof of vaccination for gyms, indoor dining, and indoor entertainment.
  • De Blasio said the legal mechanisms for the mandate will be a mayoral executive order and a health commissioner's order.

What they're saying: "Not everyone is going to agree with this, I understand that," de Blasio said at a press conference. "But for so many people, this is going to be the life-saving act."

  • "We know that this is what's going to turn the tide. And we also know that people are going to get a really clear message: if you want to participate in our society fully, you've got to get vaccinated. It's time," he continued.
  • "All of the answers, all of the information is out there. You've seen over 160 million Americans get vaccinated safely. You've seen it make the difference. The only reason we're having a recovery is vaccination. So it's time."

The big picture: It's the most aggressive move yet that the city government has taken to increase vaccinations in New York. Residents have been able to choose from an array of incentives for getting inoculated, from getting free tickets to city attractions to $100 pre-paid credit cards.

By the numbers: Approximately 71% of adults in New York City have received one vaccine dose and 66% are fully vaccinated, according to government data.

Go deeper

Why local COVID cases are going the wrong way

Data: City of Chicago; Chart: Axios Visuals

After jumping in early August, Chicago COVID cases declined steadily through much of September and October.

  • But in recent weeks they've bounced back.

By the numbers: From Oct 21 to Nov. 4 the rate of daily Chicago COVID cases rose 32%.

  • The city's daily case average is up to 382 as of Tuesday.
Nov 10, 2021 - Health

Health insurance costs for workers rose 4% during pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Health insurance provided by employers this year cost an average of $22,200 for families and $7,700 for individuals, a 4% increase from a year ago, according to new survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: While many people lost their jobs and health insurance during the pandemic, most companies didn't rock the boat heading into 2021. But even a relatively modest increase in the already high costs of job-based insurance means workers and families continue to pay a lot more for their health care.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Nov 10, 2021 - Health

Exclusive: U.S. will speed COVID vaccines to conflict zones

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration is set to announce today that it has brokered a deal to get more doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine into conflict zones around the world, a senior White House official tells Axios.

Why it matters: Getting the rest of the world vaccinated will save lives — and reduce the chances of more new variants.