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Cincinnati Public Schools board set to vote on COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees

Cincinnati Public Schools
Posted at 6:28 AM, Sep 13, 2021

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education is expected to vote Monday evening on whether to adopt a proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees and staff.

The board's Policy and Equity Committee last month advanced the proposal, which would require all district employees to receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, although some yet unspecified exemptions could apply. As of the committee's August meeting, officials had not set a deadline for staff members to provide proof of vaccination against the virus.

Ohio state law prohibits school districts from requiring vaccines that have not gained full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is the only treatment to earn full approval status, although Moderna is in the process of that application. Pfizer, Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be acceptable to meet the district's vaccine mandate, if the board approves the policy Monday.

The policy states that it is meant to safeguard the health of staff, students, families and the community, and some board members have already expressed their agreement.

"I really, really want to make sure kids don't die, family members don't die, and that we keep our school buildings open so that kids can learn," said board member Mike Moroski.

Leaders with the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers said the union is open to the policy but that they want to be a part of the conversation.

"I'm not saying that we're against it," said Julie Sellers, the union's president. "What I am saying is, however it rolls out, it must be negotiated."

Top among those details: What's the vaccination deadline?

The board is scheduled to meet Monday at 6:30 p.m.