New Jersey may require teachers to get vaccinated for COVID-19

Some teachers' unions in the state have already notified members of the pending requirement.
TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey could soon announce a vaccination requirement for teachers returning to school.

Sources tell our sister station WABC-TV the plan is still in the works, and it is not known if it would require vaccination or would have a testing option.

Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier this month that the state was considering whether to require teachers to get vaccinated or tested weekly.

"This is something we're working on right now," Murphy said during an Aug. 9 briefing. "My guess is within the next two or three weeks, we'll have something we'll be able to put out there."

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Some teachers' unions in the state have already notified members of the pending requirement.

Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon told members earlier this month to be "prepared for vaccine mandates upon returning to work ... be vaccinated or get tested once a week at your own (co-pay) expense."

New Jersey's largest teacher's union, NJEA, has previously welcomed the possible requirement.

NJEA released this statement last week:

"NJEA strongly supports and has publicly promoted vaccination for all eligible individuals. We ran ads last spring featuring our members talking about the importance of vaccination. Vaccination is the best tool we have to better protect our schools and communities. New Jersey does not yet have a vaccine or testing requirement for school employees. We believe that a 'vaccine or testing' requirement like we saw in Gov. Murphy's EO covering healthcare workers is appropriate and responsible. If the Governor's executive order requiring vaccination or regular testing in certain other sectors is extended to schools, we will work to ensure that it is implemented in a way that protects the health and welfare of everyone involved. In any case, we will continue to encourage and promote vaccination for school employees and all eligible New Jersey residents."

It is unclear when the policy will be finalized and announced.

Murphy is returning to the state Thursday night from a family vacation in Italy.

A Murphy spokesperson declined to comment Thursday night.

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