In the News: No Vaccine, No School?
Over the weekend, the CDC director and FDA gave final approval for emergency use authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the US. As questions surrounding efficacy and distribution arise, some school and public health officials say vaccination requirements may be on the way.
Note: The recent authorization is for people 16 and older.
…pediatricians and school and public health officials are bracing themselves for and bristling against the onslaught of questioners asking the one thing they don’t want to talk about. At least not yet, anyway.
Will children be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to school?
“You hear the questions about whether vaccines should be mandatory or not,” says Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. “That’s not the question to be asking right now.”
“The questions to be asking right now are, ‘Is it effective? Is it going to be free? Is it widely accessible?'” she says. “What we’re not doing right now – regardless of what I personally think – we’re not weighing in on whether a vaccine should be mandatory or not right now because that’s not an appropriate question right now.”
The caveats of “right now,” “yet” and “at this moment” do a lot of heavy lifting in conversations about immunization requirements, and that’s because the answer is complicated and not as straightforward as parents would probably like. Not only does it depend on where families live, as different states have different vaccination requirements for schools, but it also depends on drug companies enrolling more children in their trials in order to amass enough data to show – as most pediatricians and public health experts fully expect – that it’s efficacious and safe in children.
Read this full article in US News: No Vaccine, No School?