DOE administers thousands more shots ahead of vaccine mandate deadline

FILE PHOTO: SOMOS Community Care administers Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at pop-up site in New York
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker administers a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to a woman at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Nearly 90% of all Department of Education employees are now at least partially vaccinated after another 3,000 doses of a COVID-19 were administered to department staffers over the past two days, department officials said Wednesday. 

Now, 89% of all roughly 150,000 DOE workers have gotten at least one jab of a vaccine while 92% of all public school teachers and 97% of all public school principals have gotten at least one dose of the inoculation. 

Since last Friday, 11,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to a DOE employee with 9,000 doses put in the arms of workers over the weekend ahead of the Oct. 1 vaccine mandate deadline.

The influx of COVID-19 vaccinations comes days before a Friday deadline all DOE employees have to get at least the first dose of a vaccine and submit proof of vaccination. 

In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a vaccine mandate for all department employees in order to mitigate the spread of the virus and ensure public school students could return to classrooms without a remote option. 

But the mandate was temporarily put on hold after a federal judge blocked the order which was originally meant to go into effect on Monday at midnight. The case was then sent a federal three-person panel for review which released its decision to lift the injunction Monday evening.

Now, DOE employees that have still not submitted their proof of vaccination have until end of day Friday, Oct. 1. 

Some school communities have been preparing for potential staffing shortages caused by the vaccine mandate since despite a high rate of vaccination among DOE employees thousands have still not submitted their proof of vaccination barring them from entering school buildings. Since last Friday, 30,000 DOE employees had still not submitted their proof of vaccination a DOE spokesperson told Chalkbeat.