support of the vaccine mandate for school workers

Resolution in support of the vaccine mandate for school administrators, contractors, teachers and staff in New York City and State

Whereas, COVID-19 cases have been increasing nationally since mid-June 2021, driven by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, and protection against exposure remains essential in school settings; and 

Whereas, because of the highly transmissible nature of the Delta variant, along with the mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in schools, the fact that children less than 12 years of age are not currently eligible for vaccination, and there are low levels of vaccination among youth ages 12-17, CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all students (age 2 years and older), teachers, staff, and visitors to K-12 schools regardless of vaccination status,  and for all teachers, staff and eligible students be vaccinated as soon as possible; and 

Whereas, Elementary schools primarily serve children under 12 years of age who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine at this time. Middle schools and K-8 schools may also have students who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.  High schools may have a low percentage of students and staff fully vaccinated despite vaccine eligibility; and 

Whereas, there have been reports of unvaccinated teachers infecting students in their classrooms across the country; and 

Whereas, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has stated that local union employees and their employers must negotiate moving ahead with a vaccine mandate; and 

Whereas, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) surveyed teachers in September 2021 finding that 92% of teachers are not able to maintain 3-foot of distance throughout the day, 89% say students are not following mask protocols

Whereas, there is no remote option for students in New York City as of Fall 2021; and 

Whereas, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urged those who are eligible to get vaccinated to reopen schools without interruption; and

Whereas, New York City estimates that 97% of the teachers have been vaccinated.  Despite opposition by municipal unions and their members, 148,000 Department of Education (DOE) employees, including school-based and central staff, as well as DOE contractors who work in school-based settings must get a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Friday, October 1, 2021; and 

Whereas, layering prevention strategies including vaccination, universal masking regardless of vaccination status and keeping 3-feet of distance are recommended to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant; and 

Whereas, COVID-19 vaccination among all eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members reduces the likelihood for those unable to be vaccinated will be protected; therefore, be it 

Resolved that the Four Freedoms Democratic Club supports a mandate for the vaccination of school administration, teachers and staff in New York City and State and calls upon our elected officials to support and expand measures to vaccinate school staff.

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