New York City makes COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all public school teachers and staff
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issues vaccine mandate for all public school staff.
- De Blasio hails the vaccine mandate as a way of ensuring schools are “extraordinarily safe”.
- Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter calls vaccine mandate “another layer of protection” for children and staff.
At a press conference today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a policy change from his previous rule that gave teachers, as well as other employees across the city, the option of either getting vaccinated or undergoing weekly tests, and declared that all NYC public teachers and faculty staff will have to get a COVID-19 vaccine this school year to ensure that educational establishments are “extraordinarily safe.”
According to De Blasio, the vaccine mandate is the best way to ensure that schools are “extraordinarily safe” by providing what Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter described as “another layer of protection” for children and staff.
Despite announcing that teachers will be forced to get the vaccine, NYC’s mayor did not specify what penalty would be imposed on those who refuse to get the jab. Teachers who violated the previous rule were at risk of receiving an unpaid suspension.
President of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew responded to the new vaccine mandate by accepting the need to keep “kids safe and the schools open,” but argued that medical exceptions should be available and called on de Blasio to work with the unions to resolve any concerns.
The New York City COVID-19 vaccine mandate follows a similar policy imposed by outgoing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in July, who announced that all frontline healthcare workers at state-run hospitals will have to receive the jab by Labor Day, with no testing option provided.
Cuomo’s decision covered 130,000 state employees, with those affected expected to receive either the double-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-jab Johnson & Johnson option.