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Education

After Seven Months, 40 Percent of New York City Educators Aren’t Vaccinated

Students wait in line for a temperature check before their first day of in person school at I.S. 318, amid the coronavirus outbreak in Brooklyn, N.Y., October 1, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

The middle section of today’s Morning Jolt makes the inconvenient point that despite the media’s preferred narrative, a significant portion of the remaining unvaccinated are not Trump-voting, MAGA-cap-wearing Republicans but Democrats, independents, or apolitical types.

I could not have found a more powerful illustrative set of statistics than the jaw-dropping percentages of New York City employees who are not vaccinated:

Some of the city’s largest agencies have lower vaccination rates than the general public. Of NYPD’s 54,000 uniformed and civilian workforce, only 43% are vaccinated, the New York Post reported last week, also finding that the FDNY has a 55% vaccination rate. Roughly 42% of city Department of Correction workers are vaccinated, the agency told THE CITY, based on information it has about those who were vaccinated in the five boroughs.

Both the city’s 135,000 public school employees and 42,000 public hospital workers have a 60% vaccination rate. An MTA spokesperson estimated 65% to 70% of the transit agency’s 65,000 employees have received the vaccine.

Maybe a decent number of NYPD and FDNY personnel voted for Trump. But it’s hard to believe there are many Republicans, registered or self-identified, among the ranks of the workforces of the MTA, city hospitals, or the city’s public schools.

And that last one is a strong argument for metaphorically burning teachers’ unions to the ground and salting the earth where they once stood. For the past eighteen months, teachers’ unions across the country and in New York City insisted that school buildings could not be reopened because the threat of COVID-19 infection to teachers, administrators, and other staff was just too high.

In New York state, teachers became eligible for vaccination back on January 11! And almost eight months later, 40 percent of city Department of Education employees remain unvaccinated? Clearly these educators were not all that worried about catching COVID-19. Apparently the fear of the coronavirus was just powerful enough to make returning to the classrooms unthinkable, but not quite so powerful enough to get them to get off their butts and go get vaccinated.

If the mainstream media wants to shame some people for not getting vaccinated, they don’t have to look through the social media posts of members of the Hillsong church.

If they live in New York City, there’s a good chance that the nearest public school teacher isn’t vaccinated.

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