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600 Unvaccinated NYC School Employees Got Doses As Mandate Hit

Patch logo Patch 10/5/2021 Matt Troutman
Co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 Marisa Wiezel (who is related to the photographer) and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their masked students in their classroom on Sept. 27. © Michael Loccisano/Getty Images Co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 Marisa Wiezel (who is related to the photographer) and Caitlin Kenny give a lesson to their masked students in their classroom on Sept. 27.

NEW YORK CITY — Holdouts against New York City's coronavirus vaccine mandate for public school staff appear to be having second thoughts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said 600 previously unvaccinated Department of Education employees got the COVID-19 during a 24-hour span starting Monday — the first day a vaccine mandate for school workers took effect.

"We expect more to come," he said Tuesday.

Public school teachers, principals and other school workers are 95 percent vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials said.

Those numbers ticked up by 43,000 workers since late August when de Blasio announced the mandate, which requires staff to get vaccinated or else be put on unpaid leave.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said 600 previously unvaccinated school employees got their first doses in a recent 24-hour span. (NYC Mayor's Office) © Provided by Patch Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said 600 previously unvaccinated school employees got their first doses in a recent 24-hour span. (NYC Mayor's Office)

Many educators and union leaders bristled against the strict requirement. But a series of court challenges and a timely delay last week settled the issue, or else eased fears of mass staffing shortages.

De Blasio said school officials had 15,000 substitute teachers lined up Monday, but only needed about 7,000.

"Schools ran smoothly because we're prepared, but most especially because 95 percent of school employees got vaccinated," he said.

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