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A graduating student from the Ramon Power Y Giralt High School wears a facemask during a symbolic graduation from their cars to maintain social distance at a parking lot in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, on May 13, 2020. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images.
A graduating student from the Ramon Power Y Giralt High School wears a facemask during a symbolic graduation from their cars to maintain social distance at a parking lot in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, on May 13, 2020. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty…

Puerto Rico Department of Health: Vaccination required for in-person education

The order comes as the Delta variant continues to spread across the world.

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Last week, on July 22, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) issued an administrative order requiring vaccinations at in-person education institutions. 

The administrative order declares that students aged 12 and older, other personnel, who wish to attend school, post-school, educational institutions and universities must be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Health officials are hoping the new requirement will help control the virus’ spread and assist the progression of herd immunity efforts. Evidence of vaccination will be required for all who are subject to the order.

Those now required to adhere to the order include teaching and non-teaching staff at public and private schools, educational institutions, and universities. It also includes any contractors who come into contact with school personnel.

Certain medical and religious exemptions are the only exceptions to the administrative order. 

In the case of those exceptions, they include immuno-compromised individuals, people allergic to the vaccine, and others with conditions that prohibit reception. Conditions must be confirmed by a doctor authorized to practice medicine in Puerto Rico.

Religious exceptions are valid if an adult student or a student’s parent or guardian's religious practices prohibit vaccination. Sworn statements signed by religious ministers attesting to the exemption must be provided.

The administrative order by the health department was issued as cases of COVID-19’s Delta variant have exploded in areas across the island.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to affect vaccinated and unvaccinated groups across the globe, likely influencing the decision from the PRDOH.

Not long after the order was issued, U.S. President Joe Biden updated mandates so federal workers and contractors in the United States must either receive a vaccination, or utilize face-coverings and weekly tests, falling short of requiring vaccinations for any group.

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