New York on Monday announced a vaccine mandate for all public school staff, including teachers and principals, as the city escalates efforts to slow the spread of the hyper-contagious Delta strain.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said every employee of the education department must receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by September 27.
Instead, there is no option for a weekly test.
“We know this will help make sure everyone is safe,” he told reporters.
New York City has the largest public school system in America with about 1.1 million students attending 1800 schools. The directive affects almost 150,000 employees.
Only 63 percent of teaching staff has been vaccinated so far.
The announcement comes as government agencies and private companies in the United States struggle to increase vaccination rates.
Many unions and critics of mandates have spoken out against mandatory vaccinations, citing personal freedom arguments.
On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine, which is expected to spark a slew of new vaccine mandates across the country.
The New York directive comes after Los Angeles and Chicago announced their own vaccine mandates for teachers.
De Blasio wants all students to return to class when schools start the new academic year on September 13, after a combination of distance learning and face-to-face learning last year.
The Big Apple now requires vaccination certificates for people visiting indoor venues such as restaurants, gyms and shows as the city tries to get back on its feet.
In New York City, a city of more than eight million people, 75.6 percent of adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to official figures.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)