California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) went on CNN on Thursday to reveal that his state is considering a vaccine mandate for children.
“We’re the first state to do a state home order for a state to require all state employees to get vaccinated or tested as well as school employees to do the same,” Newsom said. “So we’re leaning in. As a consequence, we have the lowest case rates in America, even though our state is larger than 21 state populations combined.”
“So we want to continue to be vigilant, we want to continue to lean in. We still have a lot of work to do. I worry about a winter surge,” he added. “So yes, it’s now back on the table to get our kids vaccinated 12-17. We’re not seeing the numbers we’re seeing for other age cohorts. The decision will be made over the course of the next few days.”
“We have a lot of partners with 1,050 school districts in the state of California, the largest school system in the United States,” Newsom concluded. “But it is true, our health director said it today that this is on the table, it’s being debated, and over the next few days, we will come out with some recommendations.”
According to Mercury News, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly told reporters that officials are closely monitoring local school district decisions when it comes to possible COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“That conversation is happening — certainly as part of what we’re considering as a state — but no definitive action or decision is being made at the moment,” he said.
While Ghaly admitted that the coronavirus vaccine has raised concerns even among some parents “who have their kids fully vaccinated against the number of other vaccine-preventable illnesses,” he added that student vaccine mandates are “not new considerations” in California or in the U.S.
“To date, protecting young kids from COVID has been led by getting the adults around these young Californians to be vaccinated,” Ghaly said. “Soon, we hope, I hope — as a father of three kids under the age of 12 and a pediatrician — that we can soon vaccinate many of our students and wrap a thicker blanket of protection around these school communities.”
The chances of a child having complications from COVID-19 are extremely low, so to force them to get vaccinated against this virus is nothing short of ridiculous. We have no idea how these vaccines would impact children down the road, so it should be left up to parents to decide whether they get the shot, not the government.