Vaccine mandate for public school staff in effect

Posted 8/24/21

At a meeting of the Philadelphia School Board on Tuesday afternoon, the board unanimously approved a mandate for all school staff to be vaccinated.

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Vaccine mandate for public school staff in effect

Posted

At a meeting of the Philadelphia School Board on Tuesday afternoon, the board unanimously approved a mandate for all school staff to be vaccinated.

Since the beginning of the term is less than a week away, on August 31, Superintendent William R. Hite will work with the unions to set a date for vaccinations to be met.

The resolution states there will be a process  developed to implement the mandate  that will determine how and when vaccinations will be done, and "identify categories of contracted personnel and service providers who must be fully vaccinated in order to work in School District facilities, on School District property, and/or in the presence of School District staff or students (such as, contractors providing student transportation services), and require those impacted contractors to submit appropriate proof of full vaccination status for such personnel."

This will affect  around 20,000 employees and contractors. Approximately 80,000 students in the district  are too young to  be vaccinated, and some schools cannot provide adequate social distancing. A program of improved ventilation was implemented throught the school district over the last year, but the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has raised some doubts about its adequacy in comparison to vaccination.   

Exemptions will be allowed for medical or religious resaons, though it was not clear if that might mean a reassignment away from students.

The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers supported the move, and said many of its members are already vaccinated, though exact numbers were not available.

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