After first allowing city employees to opt out of getting vaccinated by submitting to weekly testing, NYC is now requiring all public school faculty to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Mayor de Blasio made the announcement this morning (August 23), though many predicted the mandate would be coming.
“Schools last year, despite everything thrown at us, were the safest places in New York City,” he said. “It was unbelievable the great effort, everyone worked together, we had extraordinarily low levels of COVID in our schools. And we want to build on that success. We want our schools to be extraordinarily safe all year long.”
He then announced that staff of every kind — principals, teachers, custodians, food service, etc. need to have at least one dose of the vaccine by September 27, as per an order from the NYC Department of Health.
Meisha Porter, the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, also gave a statement, saying she was first and foremost speaking as a parent of a NYC high school student.
“Our schools must be safe spaces for all children and by mandating a first dose by Sept. 27, the first month of school, we are adding yet another layer of protection for our kids,” she said. “No matter who it is in the school…your child’s teacher, who they work closely with every day, your child’s principal who leads the whole school community, your child’s school food workers who keep everyone healthy and fed…everyone in our buildings will have their first dose completed by September.”
Currently, at least 63 percent of DOE employees are vaccinated.
It also comes on a day that the FDA has fully approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.