Vaccine mandatory for teachers in New York

New York on Monday announced making the vaccine mandatory for staff in its public schools, including teachers and principals, as the city tries to slow transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said all education department employees should receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 27.

It will not be possible to choose to be tested every week instead.

“We know this will help make sure everyone is safe,” he told reporters.

New York City has the largest school system in the United States with 1.1 million students in 1,800 schools. This new directive will affect nearly 150,000 employees.

About 63% of education staff are vaccinated, while 75.6% of adults in New York City, where 8 million people live, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, official figures show.

Across the country, both public administrations and private groups are trying to encourage their employees to be vaccinated.

Many unions and critical voices have spoken out against the vaccination obligation, arguing for individual freedom.

The US Medicines Agency on Monday fully approved a first vaccine against COVID-19, that of Pfizer / BioNTech, which should push more institutions to impose vaccination.

Before New York, Chicago and Los Angeles also made vaccination compulsory for teachers.

Bill de Blasio wants students to be able to return to classes in September, the start of the new academic year.

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The “Big Apple”, who is trying to regain a normal life, requires proof of vaccination to access the interior of restaurants, sports halls and shows.

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