Metro

Vax mandate extended to NYC religious, private school staffers

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday extended his public school employee vaccination mandate to private and parochial schools.

Under Thursday’s announcement, employees at all private and religious education schools — including yeshivas and Catholic schools — must provide proof of a first vaccination dose by Dec. 20.

Some 56,000 workers at 938 non-public schools will be forced to comply with the new mandate, according to a statement from de Blasio and Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

“There is going to be a lot of opposition to this, there is no doubt about it,” a staffer at a Borough Park yeshiva told The Post. “A lot of us felt under attack already. This is going to continue that feeling.”

The worker, who declined to give his name, said the vast majority of yeshiva staffers are unvaccinated, and there are schools where not a single employee has gotten a shot.

School buses line up outside the Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov School in the South Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn.
School buses line up outside the Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov School in South Williamsburg.
Getty Images / Drew Angerer

“How are they going to come in and enforce this?” he asked. “That’s the question.”

Another yeshiva worker in Crown Heights said resistance will vary according to the religious orientation of each school.

Most Catholic schools have already encouraged staff and students to get vaccinated, but the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, Thomas Chadzutko, has signed on to a letter asking de Blasio to reconsider the mandate. 

A spokesperson said 88 percent of their parochial school staffers are vaccinated and that they support the shot but Chadzutko believes that there should be an element of individual choice.

Horace Mann School in the Bronx, NY.
Horace Mann School in the Bronx is one of multiple elite private schools to send out letters to parents telling them that students must soon be vaccinated in order to remain enrolled.
James Messerschmidt
Mayor-elect Eric Adams
Mayor-elect Eric Adams said in October he would like to take the mandate one step further and require COVID-19 vaccinations for all school children; Adams will be sworn into office January 1.
Gregory P. Mango

“Vaccinations are the key to our recovery, and our public schools are among the safest places to be in the city. Childcare centers will now be just as safe, and it’s time to use the tools we have at our disposal to climb the ladder even further,” said de Blasio.

“The health and safety of our children is paramount and we are extending our vaccine mandate to ensure all schools are protected from COVID-19,” Chokshi said.

The move came as many elite private schools like Spence, Chapin, and Horace Mann sent out letters to parents telling them that students must soon be vaccinated in order to remain enrolled.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams said in October he would take de Blasio’s mandate one step further and require COVID-19 vaccinations for all school children pending FDA approval, which was granted later that month.

Adams is to be sworn in on New Year’s Day.

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