New York City will require every employee of the city’s Department of Education such as teachers, principals, custodians, and office staff to have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by September 27th, the school year begins September 13th. Originally, employees who did not wish to receive vaccinations had an option of weekly testing, but that option is no longer available.
Soon after Mayor de Blasio’s announcement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that all employees of public, private and parochial schools in his state must be fully inoculated by October 18th or be tested once or twice a week.
NYC’s mandate will affect about 148,000 employees in the Department of Education, which has about 63 percent of it’s workforce vaccinated. The new vaccine mandates come as the Delta variant raises infection rates across large parts of the US and as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those 16 and older. The full FDA approval is expected to clear the way for many vaccine mandates by public and private employers across the country. In fact, de Blasio even said “every option is on the table, we’ll keep implementing additional steps,” and “we’ll look at the rest of the workforce.” To that end, President Biden said “I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up the vaccine requirements that will reach millions”. Some large companies that are requiring vaccines in order to return to the office are include Facebook, Alphabet (Google), Disney, Citigroup (in major cities), United Airlines, Walmart (office), Chevron, and CVS.
Currently, a collection of small business are suing NYC over the vaccination mandates on indoor entertainment, indoor dining, and indoor fitness. Despite the lawsuit it is likely that more places will mandate vaccinations to follow suit with the school system.