ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis public school district vote unanimously to enforce a vaccine mandate for staff.
The vote was fully in favor of the move.
“This is an extra precaution to say we want you in front of our students, we need you in front of our students but we also need you to take care of yourself,” St. Louis Public School District Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams said.
The district has already lost two teachers to COVID-19 and neither were vaccinated.
The deadline for employees to get vaccinated or have an exemption is Oct. 15. This means all St. Louis Public School employees, including transportation and food services must oblige.
Anyone who does not show proof of vaccination or have an exemption will immediately be put on unpaid leave. The only exemptions allowed are medical, disability, and religious reasons.
District employees will be required to get Pfizer since it is the only one approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“This was the direction in which we were traveling, and this is likely to give us the best chance to keep more people safe, the kids safe,” St. Louis Public School District Communication Director George Sells said.
So far, the majority of employees have already been vaccinated.
The teachers union stands firm behind this mandate and the mask mandate, which is already in place.
“We feel like these issues are important and worth speaking out about, we want to protect our employees, but our first mandate is to protect the children and that’s what we going to do,” AFT St. Louis local 420 spokesperson Bryon Clemmens said.
The St. Louis Pandemic Task Force also highlights the importance of masks as well.
“What we’ve seen is clearly schools that take precaution against the spread of COVID-19 can keep kids safely in classroom, I don’t think the data is arguable,” St. Louis Pandemic Task Force Leader Dr. Clay Dunagan said.