STATEN ISLAND, NY — New York City public school students currently need to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to attend prom this spring, but the mandate could be reconsidered, according to a recent report.
The New York Post reported that the after-school vaccination mandate for city public school students – which requires students to be vaccinated to participate in high-risk sports, field trips and prom – could be relaxed. .
Schools Chancellor David Banks told the Upper West Side 3 Community Education Council on Wednesday that there would be “further announcements” in the coming days regarding unvaccinated students heading to prom, according to the Post.
The Chancellor said a final decision would be made by Mayor Eric Adams.
The city “will be monitoring the numbers and making further announcements as we get closer to prom season,” a city hall spokesperson told The Post in a statement.
In the third year of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, proms returned for high school seniors — usually held in the spring from April to June — but currently only for fully vaccinated students, the Department of Health City Education (DOE) confirmed.
Proms were banned for public schools in 2020 and 2021 – although some proms run by parents not affiliated with schools took place last year.
To attend prom this year, students should be considered fully vaccinated on prom day, according to the DOE. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the last dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“They’ve announced that unless you’re vaccinated by that date, you’re not allowed to attend prom,” Kelly McKay, parent of a New Dorp high school student, told Advance/SILive.com. “So, I mean, my concern is – they can go to school, you can go to a restaurant, they can go to a wedding. Why can’t they go to a ball?
Borough President Vito Fossella explained that young adults have suffered enough over the past two years due to coronavirus restrictions “significantly limiting their academic and social experiences.”
“A ball and a celebration is exactly what they need right now,” he said in a statement. “This milestone event only happens once in their lifetime. We are asking the Ministry of Education to review these guidelines and allow all students to attend their prom.
Fossella added that the policy change would be more in line with recent decisions by Mayor Eric Adams to lift vaccination mandates, including Key 2 NYC, which requires vaccination for eating at indoor restaurants, going to movies and in other entertainment venues and working out at the gymnasium.
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