Students in the Hoboken School District will have the choice of getting the COVID-19 vaccine if they are eligible, or getting tested for the virus once a week.
Most parents and students who attended the high school orientation on Wednesday were in favor of the idea. Many students said they were just eager to get back to class.
“I’m excited because there were a lot of things around the house that we couldn’t do, like seeing our friends,” said freshman Eddie Hernandez.
“It’s COVID, so you just want to keep people safe. So the situation doesn’t bother me at all, ”said freshman Maynard Santiago.
Many adolescents are already vaccinated. The city and the school district have organized vaccination clinics for adolescents to make things easier.
Parent’s daughter Dena Allison is vaccinated, but says she understands other parents may not support the move.
“People have religious beliefs. Others have health issues so I think it’s up to the parents to decide, ”says Allison.
School superintendent Christine Johnson says vaccines are voluntary, but unvaccinated students will need to be tested weekly.
She points out that the students were tested last year and the district was able to keep schools open all day, five days a week, year round. This was due to testing, other precautions, and social distancing. These efforts will remain in place this year.
Parents of children selected for random COVID-19 testing will be notified in advance and will have the option to take them elsewhere for testing.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla has said he supports the requirement for a vaccine or test. He says this will ensure students and families feel protected while limiting the spread of the virus.