BRONX — New York parents protested a proposed COVID vaccine mandate for students on Sunday.
Close to 100 people gathered in the Bronx to demonstrate against a bill, introduced in the New York State Assembly, that would require all children to get the COVID vaccine in order to attend school.
The protest was organized by the Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, who is also a former two-term Westchester county executive.
“Most of us are probably not anti-vaccination — I’m not, my wife and I have been vaccinated,” he said. “But we don’t think our kids should be, nor do we think it’s compulsory for the state to require kids to go into vaccinating status in order to go to school or for day care or child care.”
Protester Amy Kelly said she was fully vaccinated.
“This is not about vaccinations. It’s not anti-vax. It’s about anti-mandate,” Kelly said. “All parents should have a choice about whether their children are vaccinated or not.”
Demonstrators gathered in front of the Bronx office of Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, who says his bill requiring all children to be vaccinated to attend school is a long way from becoming law.
Before the protest he tweeted out a message about the demonstration planned for in front of his office.
“Please avoid the area if you are concerned about the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 or other preventable diseases,” Dinowitz tweeted.
Dinowitz doesn’t understand why people are against vaccinating their children.
“We have mandates all the time,” he said. “Kids have to get measles shots to go to school, that’s a mandate. “You have to wear a seatbelt when you drive, mandate. You have to drive on the right side of the road, mandate. That’s the way it is,” he said.