New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education Chancellor David C. Banks, in consultation with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
today announced the lifting of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for New York City public school proms. Students were previously told they could attend graduation this year regardless of vaccination status.
Vaccination continues to be the best tool to fight COVID-19 and to keep schools safe. But through a combination of New York City’s gold standard health and safety efforts, fully vaccinated staff, and the continued care and resilience of school communities, students have been able to remain in the classrooms, learning and receiving the supports they need.
The city strongly recommends students wear a high-quality mask at prom and graduation.
“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,” said Mayor Adams. “Vaccinations got us to where we are today, so I want to thank the millions of New Yorkers who went out and got vaccinated, doing their part to keep our city safe. I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet gotten vaccinated to do so, and to all of our students, congratulations!”
“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.”
“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.”
Today’s announcement is due to the success of the Stay Safe and Stay Open plan implemented by Mayor Adams and the DOE.
While the DOE will no longer have a vaccination policy in place for proms and graduations, students attending ceremonies or events held at private locations will still be subject to any vaccination requirements of that facility.
Guests attending graduation are still required to be vaccinated in order to attend in a school building..
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene strongly recommends testing before any events, providing students with at-home tests, and masking with high-quality masks, especially for those who want to have an additional level of protection.
As a reminder, families with children who are eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 can make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site. The vaccine is free for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.