Vaccine Mandate

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Vaccinations are our strongest tool in the fight against COVID-19 and the protection of our students and staff is at the core of the vaccine mandate, which goes into effect Monday, October 4th for all staff.

As of today, at least 90% of DOE employees (~133,00 out of ~148,000), 93% of teachers (~72,500 out of ~78,000) and 98% of principals (~1,570 out of ~1,600) are vaccinated according to DOE data. We expect these numbers to grow as we get closer to the deadline today and per the UFT, approximately 95% of their members are vaccinated. Roughly 500 employees have been granted a vaccination exemption, translating to about .03% of our entire workforce. On Monday, we will share full and final numbers regarding DOE’s vaccination data.

The DOE has been encouraging vaccinations and planning for implementation since the mandate was announced – from the Vax to School campaign, to shoring up the substitute pool to help with staffing coverage. Over 7,000 vaccines were given out on school campuses during the first week of school, 8,000 vaccines were given out last week to staff, and on-site vaccination clinics were running last week for students and staff. Today, there are mobile vaccination units in areas with lower than average vaccination rates. Next week, vaccinations will be back in every building that has students who are 12 years+ to give second doses. Additionally, it is never too late to get vaccinated and students can get first doses next week as well. Sites will be in approximately 700 buildings across the city.

There are support systems in place to ensure schools have the staff they need to take care of their students including 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers, 5,000 vaccinated substitute paraprofessionals, qualified Central staff who can be redeployed and a new flexible funding allocation for schools to hire additional employees. We are also offering a financial incentive to all substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals on top of their regular pay. Superintendents and borough offices have been working closely with schools to monitor their vaccination data and explore if they may need additional support.

If an employee has not gotten vaccinated or uploaded proof of vaccination by tonight, they will be moved to Leave Without Pay status. If an employee gets vaccinated this weekend and uploads this information or provides proof of vaccination status on Monday morning, they may report to work as usual and will be put back on active status.

“Vaccination mandates work and ours will help keep our schools safe and healthy. Over 90% of our entire workforce, 93% of teachers and 98% of principals have gotten vaccinated and we have robust supports in place should any school need additional help with staffing coverage.”

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