On Thursday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona supported making coronavirus vaccinations obligatory for eligible children, arguing that the FDA's approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should encourage states to adopt such a policy.
Education Secretary Encourages State Governors To Make Vaccination Mandatory To Eligible Students
In a recently published article in The Hill, Cardona said that he supports that measure to mandate eligible students to get their COVID-19 vaccine and encourages states to make plans and come up with a policy on how to make this happen.
Cardona explained that Governors should collaborate with school authorities and health officials to implement regulations, particularly in high-risk regions where children may be in danger of returning to remote or hybrid learning as a consequence of the spread of COVID-19.
However, the education secretary downplayed the idea that his support for a student vaccination requirement would cause political blowback, particularly in conservative-leaning states, claiming that the issue is about restoring schools safely, according to a report published in POLITICO.
Cardona Pointed Out the Importance of Vaccine
Cardona cited the efficacy of the measles vaccination, which is mandated in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for children in daycare or public schools, as a reason why the coronavirus vaccine should be made obligatory for students.
Cardona asserted that the main reason why people are no longer talking about measles in the country today is due to the fact that vaccination against measles is a requirement before attending school. From this standpoint, he believes that the spread of COVID-19 among schoolchildren can be mitigated if eligible students are inoculated.
Who are Eligible To Get Inoculated?
The Pfizer vaccine was given final clearance by the FDA last month for anyone aged 16 and above. However, for individuals aged 12 to 15, the emergency usage permission remains in effect, according to a recently published article in NPR.
So far, no vaccinations for children under the age of 12 have been authorized, but Pfizer said on Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine is "safe" and "well-tolerated" by children aged 5 to 11. In its vaccination study with children under 12 years old, the firm claimed it saw "strong neutralizing antibody responses" and a "favorable safety profile."
Numbers of Vaccinated Kids or Students
Cardona's remarks come as the number of kids eligible to get their first dosage of COVID-19 vaccination continues to decline. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported on Sept. 15 that 273,000 youngsters had received their first coronavirus vaccination dosage in the previous week, the lowest number since the vaccine was made accessible for children aged 12 to 15.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the number has declined for five weeks in a row. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 54 percent of people aged 12 to 17 have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, per The New York Times reports.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week that it wanted in-person schooling to resume across the country and that it had updated its mask guidance to call for universal mask use in schools by students, staff members, and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status or the rate of virus transmission in the community.