New York City’s vaccine mandate required all public school teachers and staff to get vaccinated by this past Friday. Now the first school week with the mandate in effect is beginning, and if it’s a test case for the nation, it was a success.
While conservatives have threatened that vaccine mandates would result in empty classrooms, in fact, Mayor Bill de Blasio says that 99% of principals, 96% of teachers, and 95% of staff overall have chosen to get vaccinated.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) COVID vaccine mandate for teachers and school staff takes effect today.
He announces “96% of all teachers” are vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/WCxguvHfvG
— The Recount (@therecount) October 4, 2021
In fact, over 43k doses have been issued since the mandate was announced in August, and according to the New York Times, more than 18k of those were in the last week of September and first few days of October. This seems to suggest that the mandate was a significant driver in this spate of immunizations.
Fewer than four thousand teachers who fall under the mandate have failed to be vaccinated at this point, and there’s no sign these holdouts are going to affect the policy. Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman for the mayor, has said that there are 9,000 substitute teachers and 5,000 substitute paraprofessionals ready to take on their roles until they can be permanently filled.
Any holdouts who were waiting for the Supreme Court to intervene had the weekend to seek out their first shot, as SCOTUS responded on Friday by rejecting the case, USA Today reports. In the meantime, they face immediate suspension without pay, and the court’s refusal to hear the case opens the gates for similar mandates in school districts across the country.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com