City school employees who have not shown proof they got a second vaccine shot under Mayor de Blasio’s mandate have been allowed to continue working a month past the deadline with “reminders” instead of being put on unpaid leave, The Post has learned.
The Department of Education last week sent principals a sample letter to give staffers who are “not in full compliance” with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which required proof of a double dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine 45 days after the first.
The original deadline to comply was Nov. 18.
A Queens teacher blasted what she called lax enforcement.
“The taxpayers of NYC have been paying these unvaccinated teachers’ salaries for the last month while the UFT has happily collected their dues,” she said. “All the while, Covid is rampant among staff in city schools. Is this the gold standard of safety, Mr. Mayor?”
Asked repeatedly, the DOE would not say how many of its 146,000 full-time workers did not show proof of both shots.
“We have sent out notices reminding staff who have not uploaded proof of a second dose to do so as soon as possible,” said spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon.
Experts said the failure to fully vaccinate put staffers and students at greater risk of infection.
“Individuals with only one shot will contract the virus and get sick at substantially higher rates than those who are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Darnell, a professor and senior physician at The Rockefeller University.
The immunity gained from one shot wanes faster than with two, and protection against variants like Delta or Omicron is weaker, he added.
“The bottom line is that staff, kids and family all have a much higher risk with a single shot than they would if all were fully vaccinated,” Darnell said.
On Thursday, the last day of school before the Christmas break — and the last under Mayor de Blasio’s tenure — the DOE’s COVID-19 Situation Room tallied 1,009 new infections: 658 students, and 351 staffers, bringing the total since September to 22,981. Currently, 11 schools and 357 classrooms are closed; 3,986 classrooms are partially quarantined.
City Hall released data showing that 96 percent of the DOE’s workforce have received at least one shot.