Governor Phil Murphy is expected to announce that NJ will require all teachers to be vaccinated for COVID. The possible mandate comes as schools get set to open up for in-person instruction this fall. New Jersey would be the third state, behind California and Washington, to make vaccines a requirement. It’s not clear if teachers who do not want to get vaccinated will have the option of frequent testing, as they do in CA. In Washington state, teachers cannot opt out of the vaccine and their employment is contingent upon getting it.
Sen. Joseph Vitale, D- Middlesex, who chairs the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, said he is in support of such a mandate.
“With more and more children acquiring the COVID virus and many without an available vaccine, requiring vaccinations of adults in close proximity dramatically increases everyone’s safety,” he said.
There is currently no data on how many of NJ’s teachers are vaccinated though the National Education Association has reported high rates of teachers getting vaccinated across the country.
Earlier this month, Murphy announced that students and staff members in grades K-12 must wear masks at the start of the new school year.
New Jersey already requires hospital workers and workers in long-term care facilities, prisons and other state and private health care settings to be vaccinated or else be subjected to repeated testing.
Murphy is also expected to announce a travel ban for business for high level state employees, though Murphy himself just returned from vacation in Italy. It’s also a possibility that he may bring back a state-wide mask mandate indoors for everyone.