Murphy teases possible vaccine mandate for N.J. school kids

Murphy teases possible vaccine mandate for N.J. school kids

Governor Phil Murphy declared that vaccine mandates were “on the table” for students during Tuesday’s presser, Save Jerseyans, a step beyond the current mask mandate.

“Do you support districts mandating vaccines for students who are of eligible age?” an ABC reporter asked the Democrat incumbent. “How would that be handled if – I mean, there are a number of parents out there who will not let their children be vaccinated if they’re in one of those districts that decides to mandate it. Do you support those policies?”

“On mandating, I think one district in particular, Hoboken, is the one that has stepped up to do that. As a statewide matter – I’ll give you two parts to the answer. We feel comfortable as I sit here on August 30th with the package that we’ve got in place for the state, which is combination of vaccination mandate, if not multiple testings per week, and masking for everybody. We think that is sufficient given the data that we’re looking at right now,” replied Murphy. “On the Part B of this, you have to leave, as we’ve said so many times, all considerations on the table. I think we feel – I don’t want to speak for Judy and Ed or Angelica Allen-McMillan, but I think we feel comfortable that we’ve put in place the package that achieves that safety objective, and we’re going to continue to monitor it clearly.”

Hoboken recently became the first district in the state to mandate either the vaccine or weekly testing for all age-eligible students.

If you sense reluctance on Murphy’s part, it has less to do with “science” and more to do with the facts that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate could prove far more politically perilous for Murphy than a mask mandate.

A recent public poll reported that while masks are allegedly popular with parents (69% in favor), only 44% of New Jersey parents support mandating vaccines for tweens and teens while an even small percentage – 39% – support vaccinated younger students.