One NJ school’s ultimatum: Take the vaccine or drop out
It's a tale of two organizations when it comes to the coronavirus vaccine.
One is a school district whose members are clamoring for the vaccine.
The other is a nursing school where students are bristling at a requirement for the shot.
Demand for the vaccine is huge with over a million appointments being sought via the state website. Nearly 400,000 vaccines already have been administered. With vaccine supply limited, the state has prioritized health care workers, law enforcement, residents of long term care facilities, those over the age of 65 and people age 14-64 with certain underlying conditions per CDC guidelines.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood schools Superintendent Joan Mast and the Board of Education sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy asking him to speed up the availability of the coronavirus vaccine for teachers because it is key for a fulltime return to classroom education for the second half of the school year.
Mast says 90% of the district staff said they would take the vaccine and are frustrated there is at least a 60-day wait to get an appointment.
“To make our workplace and community safer, we are respectfully requesting your immediate attention in addressing the need to connect all interested employees with COVID-19 vaccines so they can teach our students with minimal concern for becoming ill or unknowingly transmitting the virus to a loved one," Mast's letter says.
At the other end of the scale are Trinitas Medical Center Nursing School students who are upset they are being forced to making a choice by Friday between taking the coronavirus vaccine or drop out of the program .
Students with valid medical and religious exemptions or those who were COVID-positive within the last 90 days are exempt from the requirement.
Trinitas Medical Center doctors and nurses are not required to take the shot.
The dean, Dr. Roseminda Santee, said in a letter to students that the requirement is in place because students are in clinical facilities as part of their education. The vaccination will reduce the risk for students and staff.
Students who choose not to be vaccinated can reapply for the fall semester but are not guaranteed a place in class.