New York is requiring that nearly everyone working in the city’s public schools be vaccinated against the coronavirus, forcing thousands of Department of Education employees to receive at least one dose of a vaccine in the past week, prompting teachers to Vaccination rates in the U.S. have become too high, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
About 95 percent of all full-time school staff have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Meyer said, which includes 96 percent of teachers and 99 percent of headmasters.
More than 18,000 shots were administered to staff members since September 24, and 43,000 doses have been administered since the mandate was announced in late August.
“The mandate works, they make us safer,” Mr. de Blasio said in a television interview on Friday. “I would urge every mayor in America: Do it now, get those vaccine mandates before cold weather, when things are about to get tough. Do it now, or you’ll regret it later.”
New York’s mandate, which took effect when school day begins on Monday, is the mayor’s first attempt at requiring any city workers to be vaccinated without a tested-out option. This could lay the groundwork for a more widespread need for the city’s huge work force.
This requirement applies to the more than 150,000 people who work in the nation’s largest school system, including teachers, headmasters, mentors, school security agents and lunch aides.
School employees who did not show evidence that they had received at least one vaccine dose were automatically placed on unpaid leave late on Friday. Those who proved they got a shot over the weekend were allowed to report to school on Monday and added back to the payroll.
While the mandate apparently prompted many staff to vaccinate, the mayor’s decision to implement it will be tested further this week, as some schools grapple with potential staff shortages due to staff departures without staff.
In many schools, nearly all staff members are vaccinated, and the mandate will have little or no effect. But some schools are likely to call on substitute teachers in large numbers. Others will probably have to offer grab-and-go options from serving hot lunches to a lack of cafeteria associates.
Union officials said they were particularly concerned about school safety agents who refused vaccinations. They work for the police department and cannot be easily replaced. Police officials said that at least 82 percent of agents had received at least one vaccine dose.