New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, will require private school workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Workers will need to furnish proof that they received their first vaccine dose by Dec. 20, according to the New York Post.
“We’re doing everything in our power to protect our students and school staff, and a mandate for nonpublic school employees will help keep our school communities and youngest New Yorkers safe,” the mayor said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
The city’s public school workers already face a COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Due to term limits, de Blasio, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2014, was not eligible to seek another term during the 2020 election, according to The Hill. In 2019, de Blasio threw his hat into the ring with a presidential bid, but ultimately dropped out later that year.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams, also a Democrat, will enter office on the first of January, the New York Times noted.
Government and private sector COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the U.S. have proven to be highly controversial during the pandemic, with some Americans decrying such requirements as infringements on personal autonomy.
“While we support and generally encourage Covid vaccination in our schools, and while in fact the large majority of our schools’ employees are so vaccinated, most of our schools do not insist upon such vaccination as a condition of employment,” Chairman of the Committee of NYC Religious and Independent School Officials Rabbi David Zwiebel reportedly noted in a letter to Mayor de Blasio.
“Many of our schools view Covid vaccination as a matter most appropriately left to individual choice, not governmental fiat. This is an area where government should be using its bully pulpit to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce,” Zwiebel said.
— Emma G. Fitzsimmons (@Emma G. Fitzsimmons)