Hoboken, NJ, first to require K-12 COVID vaccine/testing
Parents in the Hoboken school district have been notified that all students age 12 and older will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine, or be subject to weekly COVID testing.
The new requirement was included in a reopening plan that was shared by the district this week.
Under the plan, students will have to show proof of vaccination or be tested at the school using a nasal swab/PCR test every week. Parents will be notified of the day of testing, so they can be present if they wish.
All staff members are subject to the same vaccination/testing requirements.
If proof of vaccination is not provided, students over the age of 12 will test weekly. Students over the age of 12 that provide proof of vaccination may participate in weekly testing if a parent opts into the testing program. *The Hoboken Public School District reserves the right to include fully vaccinated individuals in the onsite COVID PCR Testing Program at a future date. - Updated Reopening Plan/Hoboken Public Schools
Students under the age of 12 will be randomly selected for testing each week. The district says there will be no cost for the testing, and parents do have the option of having their child tested at a facility of their choice if they do not want to test conducted by the school.
Hoboken has been one of the most aggressive municipalities in New Jersey in terms of promoting vaccinations. Mayor Ravi Bhalla was among the first to order all municipal workers to have a COVID vaccine, or submit to weekly testing.
Bhalla praised the decision to require students to be vaccinated, and encouraged "other Hoboken institutions and businesses to adopt similar measures."
Only the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the FDA, and then only for individuals 16 and up. It is still approved for use in children between 12 and 15 under the FDA's "emergency use" order.
The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have not yet been granted full approval, but also remain available under the FDA's "emergency use" order.