NYC celebrates reaching 95 percent of school employees vaccinated as mandate starts

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced during a press conference Monday that 95 percent of staff from the city’s Department of Education are vaccinated against the coronavirus as an employee mandate takes effect.

The mayor touted the public school employee vaccination rate, which reached 96 percent among teachers and 99 percent among principals, saying it shows that mandates work.

“Look, here’s my message to all of the mayors of America, here’s my message to all of the governors of America: Put these mandates in place. Put these incentives in place,” he said. “They work. Do it now. Save lives and ultimately save this country from a longer crisis that could hold us down for months or even years.”

By the numbers: Since New York announced the mandate on Aug. 23, public school employees have received 43,000 doses, and the city as a whole will soon surpass 11.5 million doses, de Blasio said. New York saw 1.7 million doses administered since late July, with the daily vaccination rate jumping by 45 percent.

As of Monday, all the staffers working at the city’s more than 1,600 public schools are fully vaccinated, as unvaccinated employees without an exemption were placed on paid leave.

These approximately 8,000 unvaccinated employees are on unpaid leave and “will be welcomed back in our system should they comply with the mandate,” Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said.