CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — With the new school year just around the corner, a couple of major announcements are expected this week regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates for teachers and school staff in the area. Kids under 12 have not been approved for a vaccine yet, so officials say this is an important step as cases continue to surge and children are set to return to class.
The mandate would apply to teachers and staff. It comes as the Delta Variant continues to fuel the latest surge in cases. Anyone not vaccinated would likely have to agree to regular COVID testing.READ MORE: Mother Of Cheltenham Township Single-Car Crash Victim Speaks Out After Incident Left 1 Person Dead, 4 Others Injured: ‘It's Horrible’
Similar mandates are in effect in California and Connecticut. A spokesman for the NJEA — New Jersey’s Top Teacher’s Union — calls the measure appropriate and responsible.
Meanwhile, in Philly, the teachers’ union also expressed their support for a vaccine mandate.
The school board scheduled a special session for 5 p.m. Tuesday to require all staff to be vaccinated. Some religious and medical exemptions would apply.READ MORE: Cooling Tower Malfunction Caused Fire At Center City High-Rise, Source Says
“The virus is drawing a distinction between those who have been vaccinated and are unvaccinated,” Wellstar Health System Dr. Danny Branstetter said.
“COVID-19 vaccine reviews are the top priority for the FDA,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said. “It’s possible that we may have vaccines for under 12s before the end of the calendar year.”
New Jersey’s news conference is set for 1 p.m. Monday. Students and teachers in New Jersey and Delaware are required to wear masks.MORE NEWS: Amtrak Forced To Reduce Service Along Northeast Corridor Due To COVID-Related Staffing Shortage
In Pennsylvania, individual districts are setting their own requirements.