Governor weighs in on LDH’s vaccine mandate proposal for some students

Gov. John Bel Edwards
Gov. John Bel Edwards(WAFB)
Published: Nov. 21, 2021 at 9:52 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Huge crowds lined up over at Quarters Arcade in Baton Rouge where plenty of children ages five and up lined up with their parents for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We received some funding, we were excited, and we were thinking, ‘Okay, maybe 250 people,’ and we’re like at 500 people, which is obviously a blessing,” said Brittney Temple, the owner of Quarters.

The folks over at Quarters teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Health and Our Lady of the Lake. Children were even given $100 from the state and a complimentary game card to take inside and have some fun.

“At first, I was like, ‘I don’t want to get the shot,’ until my dad was like, ‘We’re going to have money with this,’” said Bentley Bordelon. “I was like jumping up out of my seat because I was in the truck.”

“I was going to get him vaccinated anyway and the fact that they have an incentive just makes it, you know, that much more encouraging to bring him out,” said Autumn Bordelon, Bentley’s mom.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and other Capital Area leaders showed up to stress the importance of vaccinations. But there’s a new proposal from LDH that would add the COVID-19 vaccines to the list of required shots for students 16 and up. The governor is behind the idea.

“It would be totally, I think, inappropriate, unfortunate, and dangerous to not add the COVID vaccines fully licensed by the FDA to the schedule,” said Edwards.

It’s a big talker among parents, but right now, the Pfizer vaccine for kids five to 11 still doesn’t have full approval from the FDA. Edwards cleared up some confusion for parents.

“It’s going to be mandated to the extent that other vaccines are mandated but only when FDA gets fully licensed or full authorization, that’s ages 16 and up. So, that’s who it’s going to apply to,” explained Edwards.

He also said all the current opt-out provisions in the law surrounding other vaccines children are required to get to go to school will pertain to these shots as well. The state’s Health and Welfare Committee will review the proposal and decide whether or not to move forward with it. The date for that meeting has yet to be set.

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