NYC Schools Could Require Vaccines for Students by Fall, Adams Says

NEW YORK (New York Daily News/TNS) -
New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference in Brooklyn, last week.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

New York City is weighing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students to go to school in the fall, Mayor Eric Adams said on Sunday.

The new mayor told CNN that he was meeting with health care professionals to determine if such an option is warranted.

“In this country, we do vaccinate for smallpox, measles and other things,” Adams said. “And so, we need to engage in a real conversation of how to educate, use the time before the fall to educate our parents to show the importance of it.

“We’re going to sit down and determine if we’re going to roll that out, as well.”

Last year, Los Angeles officials said students would have to be vaccinated by Jan. 10, but the mammoth scale of the effort forced them to postpone the mandate to the fall.

In New York City, a record number of students have missed school as the omicron variant of coronavirus sparks a drastic increase in cases.

Citywide attendance, which averaged nearly 90% for much of autumn, dropped to 69% from Dec. 20-23 and Jan. 3-7. Adams showed no sign of ceding to demands from some parents and educators for the city to bring back a remote-learning option.

“The safest place for children is in a school building,” he said, repeating a favorite line. “What we want to do is not get in the way of … children from coming into that building.”

Adams also shied away from mandatory weekly COVID-19 tests for students, saying that some parents are reluctant for their children to participate.

Asked on CBS whether the school year should be extended to make up for learning loss during the pandemic, Adams was noncommittal.

“We’re going to sit down with my new chancellor and study how do we start doing the catch-up,” said the mayor, who called for a “a full-year school year” on the 2020 campaign trail.