Under a mandate from Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration set to take effect Monday, New York City public school teachers, and other workers in the Department of Education, were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
But thanks to a federal appeals court judge’s ruling Friday, the mandate cannot be enforced — for now.
As the New York Post reported, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “granted a temporary injunction against the mandate, and sent the case to a three-judge panel for an ‘expedited review.'”
A hearing in the case is set for Wednesday.
In statement, the NYC Department of Education expressed confidence that the mandate will eventually be upheld.
“We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve,” spokesperson Danielle Filson told Politico.
According to Filson, more than 82 percent of workers in the city’s school system have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in an email to DOE staff Saturday morning, Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said “we should continue to prepare for the possibility that the vaccine mandate will go into effect later in the week,” the Post reported.
De Blasio has continued to defend the mandate, saying that there enough substitute teachers to replace those teachers do not want to get vaccinated.
“We’ve been planning all along. We have a lot of substitutes ready,” he said Friday, according The Associated Press. “A lot is going to happen between now and Monday but beyond that, we are ready, even to the tune of, if we need thousands, we have thousands.”
But some city teachers are sticking to their guns, including Christina Coscia.
“I’ve never been so scared to do something and I can’t bring myself to do it,” she told the Post regarding the vaccine, adding that she was willing to give up her salary, if necessary.
“I can’t have sleepless nights thinking about the what ifs.”