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Judges uphold de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for public school teachers

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Federal judges ruled in favor of New York City Monday, allowing vaccine mandates among teachers. The ruling comes out of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

According to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, 90% of public school teachers received the vaccine. But roughly 7,500 remain without a single dose of the vaccine.

Then, the city’s Department of Education lauded the ruling. “Vaccinations are our strongest tool in the fight against COVID-19 – this ruling is on the right side of the law and will protect our students and staff,” their statement read. Meanwhile, 87% of the department’s employees received the vaccine. Now, the mandate will officially go into effect on October 4th.

However unvaccinated teachers simply said, through their lawyers, that they will appeal the ruling. They would rather lose their jobs than accept the mandate, predicting that students will suffer the most without teachers.

“Imminent and irreparable harm exists,” their lawyers argued to the federal panel.

“To remain unvaccinated while teaching vulnerable schoolchildren is dwarfed by the public’s interest in safely resuming full school operations for a million public school students,” the judges’ ruling read.

According to the city’s Department of Health, the average number of shots per day has increased 45 percent since the mayor announced the mandate.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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