NEWS & ANALYSIS

Largest Teachers’ Union in U.S. Rallies Behind Requiring Proof of Vaccine or Regular Testing


The largest teachers’ union in America announced on Thursday its support for requiring all teachers to get vaccinated or succumb to regular testing. 

“It is clear that the vaccination of those eligible is one of the most effective ways to keep schools safe,” Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, said in a statement. 

The announcement follows in the footsteps of Randi Weingarten, leader of the American Federation of Teachers, who signaled her support for vaccine mandates on Sunday, per the New York Times. 

Pringle agreed that teachers who are not vaccinated could receive regular testing if they choose, adding that “employee input, including collective bargaining where applicable, is critical.” 

The National Education Association represents about three million members nationwide, including many rural and suburban districts. The union said nearly 90 percent of its members are already vaccinated. 

“We believe that such vaccine requirements and accommodations are an appropriate, responsible, and necessary step,” Pringle said. She added that “educators must have a voice in how vaccine requirements are implemented.”