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New York City Mandates Vaccinations for Public School Teachers, Principals and Staff

(Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Aug. 23, 2021 By Christian Murray

All New York City public school employees will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in accordance with a new mandate announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio Monday morning.

The policy will affect all 148,000 Dept. of Education employees, including school principals, teachers and custodians. It will also apply to school safety officers and food providers.

Under the mandate, all staff will be required to show proof that they have had a least one dose of the vaccine by Sept. 27.

The announcement comes as the highly contagious Delta variant becomes more prevalent and just weeks before approximately 1 million New York City public school students return to class.

The mayor is adamant that there will be no remote learning in the upcoming year that starts Sept. 13.

“We know this is going to help ensure that everyone is safe,” de Blasio said during a news conference Monday. “We want our schools to be extraordinarily safe all year long.”

To date, about 63 percent of Dept. of Education employees have had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to city officials.

The policy follows the mayor’s announcement on Friday that public school athletes involved in high-risk sports like basketball and football must be vaccinated by the start of their season.

“Our schools must be safe spaces for our students,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, who spoke during the press conference Monday. The vaccine mandate, she added, provides “another layer of protection for our kids.”

The city has yet to disclose what the penalty will be for employees who don’t comply, or whether there will be exemptions.

The announcement comes on the same day that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

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Gardens Watcher

Good decision by the Mayor (finally) and the FDA approval was a long time coming. If you work in a school, there are no good reasons left not to be vaccinated. If you can’t or won’t comply, time to get another job.

One clarification: The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received full FDA approval for ages 16 and up, and as more data comes in, the expectation is it will be approved for ages 12-15 sometime this year. Studies still ongoing for even younger kids, and they are still determining the proper reduced dosage.

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Chloe

They should require the Department of Transportation who drive and take care of students on school buses to also get vaccinated. I am only hiring dogsitters who are vaccinated with 2 doses to take care of my dogs. They are like my kids and would do anything to protect them.

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