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Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.

Details: A judge for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday evening granted a temporary injunction and referred the case to a three-judge panel for an "expedited review," AP reports.

  • "We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve," Department of Education spokesperson Danielle Filson told AP.

The big picture: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that all 148,000 New York City Department of Education employees would need to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27.

  • As of Friday, 82% of department employees had been vaccinated, including 88% of teachers, per AP.
  • Unions representing New York City school employees have been urging de Blasio to delay the mandate, warning that it could leave the school system short of as many as 10,000 teachers.
  • De Blasio maintains that the city is ready, saying: "We’ve been planning all along. We have a lot of substitutes ready," per AP.

What to watch: New York City's Department of Education on Saturday morning sent an email to city principals warning that they "should continue to prepare for the possibility that the vaccine mandate will go into effect later in the week," the New York Post reports.

Go deeper: New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the court's scheduling of the hearing date.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

Benefits of COVID vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood on the day before classes begin for the 2021-22 school year. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration regulators said Friday that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children far outweigh the risks for children ages 5 to 11.

Why it matters: The announcement could add momentum to the FDA's authorization of doses for children on an emergency basis, which could happen as early as next week, according to the New York Times.

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 22, 2021 - Axios Denver

Michael Porter Jr. emerges as prominent COVID-19 vaccine skeptic

Michael Porter Jr. Photo: Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. steps onto the court at Ball Arena Friday unvaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The 23-year-old shooter is emerging as one of the NBA's most vocal skeptics of the COVID-19 vaccine — and among the most prominent in Colorado.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.