The D.C. Council voted on Tuesday to delay a mandate that some students in the city’s school system be vaccinated against the coronavirus by early next year.
Ten members of the council voted yes for the delay while Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) voted no, Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) voted present and Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) was absent.
The council’s vote means that families of D.C. students won’t need their children vaccinated against the disease by Jan. 3, 2023, or risk being taken out of a school building due to the city’s “no shots, no school” policy.
Council member Christina Henderson (I-At Large) said the noncompliant rate for D.C. Public Schools for the coronavirus vaccine is 44%, compared to normal compliance for routine vaccinations at 23%.
“Students can still get their COVID-19 vaccinations in the meantime, and we would certainly encourage them to do so,” Henderson said, WTOP reported. “But they will not be excluded from school over that.”
In a statement, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education praised the council’s vote.
“We have heard from many school leaders about the challenges of tracking enforcement for COVID-19 vaccinations,” the statement said, WTOP reported. “That is why at the beginning of the school year, the District adjusted the enforcement timeline of the Immunization Attendant Policy for the COVID-19 vaccine. We support the Council’s action to give our families and schools additional time to come into compliance.”