New York City, NY

New York City Lifts Student Vaccine Mandate for Prom

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Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday that COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required for public school students to attend prom this year.

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Mayor Eric Adams announced that students who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to attend proms this year.AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

“I am thrilled that, starting this year, every one of our young people will have the chance to celebrate all of their hard work with a prom and graduation, regardless of vaccination status,” Adams said in a statement.

The announcement is credited to the success of the Stay Safe and Stay Open plan implemented by the mayor and the Department of Education (DOE). Masks are encouraged to be used by guests attending prom.

Students were previously advised they were allowed to attend graduation ceremonies this year even if they hadn't had the vaccine, according to the notice from City Hall.

“We’re happy that young people will be able to celebrate this joyous, and one-time, milestone,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Vaccinations remain a lifesaving tool. Masks worn indoors continue to reduce risk of transmission. But another critical resource for health is togetherness and celebration — for which these events are so critical in the lives of young people.”

Before attending any activities, students will be highly encouraged to take COVID-19 testing, with the DOE providing at-home testing as well as high-quality masks.

“The health and safety of our students and staff is, and has been, my top priority,” said Chancellor Banks. “Graduation and prom are such momentous occasions in the lives of our young people, which is why I am so excited that thanks to the hard work of our school communities, we have come to a point where we can safely take this next step.”

If the event is held in a school building, however, friends and family of graduates will still need to get vaccinated.

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