Eric Adams was elected the new Mayor of New York City on Tuesday, prompting many parents to wonder about his stance on a citywide vaccine mandate for children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Monday, and government rollout is expected to begin next week, on Nov. 8.
A vaccination mandate was recently put into effect for hospital workers, federal government employees, and teachers, but the issue has yet to be raised for children in public schools, where uproar already existed just over mask mandates.
Many secondary schools and universities have required college students to get vaccinated if they planned to attend classes this semester, but this is the first time the Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for young children attending elementary school.
According to New York Pix 11 News, a poll found that 54% of the study supported a public school vaccine mandate, while 46% were either against it or undecided.
Despite the near-50/50 split in public opinion, Eric Adams said on the campaign trail that if city health officials recommended a mandate, he would support the initiative.
“We must think differently and we must be open to conform this new ground that we’re on,” Adams said on Tuesday.
As long as Covid-19 remains a problem in NYC, Adams agreed that he would be open to a remote option for unvaccinated students, but that he would do everything in his power to try to get children back into the classroom.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to discuss if he will try to implement a vaccine mandate for school children in the coming days as he prepares to leave office, but vaccination sites are reportedly getting ready for an influx of children starting next Monday.
“We have a lot of sites ready as always, and we’re certainly going to consider what we need to do in our schools as well,” Bill De Blasio said. “We’re getting ready and excited, and I think there’s going to be a whole lot of energy among parents to bring their younger kids in.”
The De Blasio administration supports a vaccine mandate for children in public schools but stopped short of enforcing the rule until the FDA approved Covid-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11. The decision will rest with NYC’s next mayor, Eric Adams.
His opponent on Tuesday, Republican Curtis Silwa, was against vaccination mandates for anyone in New York City.
“I can assure all these brave and heroic civil servants… that if the good people of New York City elect me mayor, on Jan. 2 we’re rolling back all these mandates,” Silwa told a crowd of supporters the day before the election.
On Election Day, Eric Adams swiftly defeated Curtis Silwa by approximately 383,000 votes and counting to be elected the next Mayor of New York City.
“I’m not a doctor and I’m not going to supersede the doctor. And I respect, as a person that has a son, I respect that parents want input,” Eric Adams told a concerned voter on Sunday, but “if you make a determination on voting for someone like a Curtis Sliwa on one issue, you’re endangering your children.”
Adams stressed that children already get vaccinated for other diseases such as measles to attend school, and if the health department and the FDA approved the Covid-19 vaccine for children, he would support the recommendation of the nation’s top doctors.
Adams’ victory doesn’t mean that a vaccine mandate for children won’t come without resistance, but his election does trend toward a great acceptance of how he will run New York City’s fight against Covid-19.