Religious, non-public schools oppose new coronavirus vaccine mandate in New York City – .

Religious, non-public schools oppose new coronavirus vaccine mandate in New York City – .

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – The New York Religious and Independent Schools Committee responded on Friday after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate that will require all employees in non-public schools to be vaccinated for the first time by December 20. It affects approximately 56,000 employees of 938 yeshivas, Catholic schools and other private schools.
“Many of our schools view COVID vaccination as a matter of individual choice, not a government decree,” Rabbi President David Zwiebel wrote. “This is an area where the government should use its bully chair to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce. “READ ALSO | ‘Watch out, don’t panic’: officials confirm omicron cases in New York

Membership consists of leaders from schools affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Islamic schools, Lutheran schools, Greek Orthodox schools, Adventist schools, historically black independent schools, and Jewish schools. Approximately 250,000 students are enrolled.

“The practical impact of the city’s imposition of a vaccination mandate could be devastating for our schools and the children they serve,” Zwiebel wrote. “The reality is that the small percentage of school staff who chose not to vaccinate made a personal choice based on their circumstances and personal values. It is certain that at least some of them will continue to resist vaccination even if the city imposes a vaccination mandate. – whereupon, in accordance with the terms of the mandate, they will be dismissed.

Zwiebel warned the warrant would lead to a staff shortage that could force schools to close.

“At a time when it is so difficult to find high quality teachers and staff, even at the start of the school year, it may be impossible to find high quality replacement staff in the middle of the school year.” , did he declare.

Still, the city seemed determined to move forward with the mandate.

“Vaccinations are the key to our recovery, and our public schools are among the safest places in the city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Child care centers will now be just as safe, and it’s time to use the tools we have to move up the ranks even further. We go out of our way to protect our students and school staff, and a mandate for non-public school employees will help keep our school communities and younger New Yorkers safe. “

Officials say the mandate is in line with recommendations from the CDC, which recommended that teachers and school staff be vaccinated as soon as possible.

The city will work with school leaders in the weeks leading up to the mandate taking effect, ensuring that vaccines are readily available and school operations can continue to run smoothly.

READ ALSO | President Biden to make rapid home tests free in new COVID plan

“The health and safety of our children is paramount and we are expanding our immunization mandate to ensure all schools are protected from COVID-19,” said Health Commissioner Dr Dave Chokshi. “All teachers and school staff should get immunized as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. “

The city will provide vaccines to all schools that request them, and the vaccines will be offered to eligible interested students as well as school staff.


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