La. public school students 16 & up could soon be required to be vaccinated

The proposal to require COVID-19 vaccines in K-12 schools has been a hot button issue for months, but now state leaders are ready to move forward.
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 8:05 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:54 AM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The proposal to require COVID-19 vaccines in K-12 schools has been a hot-button issue for months, but now, Louisiana leaders are ready to move forward.

With the FDA fully approving those vaccines for children 16 and up, the Louisiana Health Department and Gov. John Bel Edwards said now is the time to require immunizations for students in that age group.

“It is certainly my inclination that the vaccine will be added to the schedule that pertains to K-12 schools and higher ed,” said Edwards.

LDH is proposing for the COVID-19 vaccine to be added to the School Immunization Schedule only for ages that have received full licensure and approval from the FDA, which currently is 16 and up. Officials added full licensure and approval from the FDA signify the very highest endorsement of safety and efficacy from the US government.

The Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee is meeting Monday, Dec. 6. Lawmakers are reviewing the proposal and question state leaders, then vote on whether the idea can move forward.

“The committee tomorrow will either allow a rule adoption to take place or there will be an objection, and there are a series of types of objections that have to happen to be able to stop this type of rule from taking place,” said Rep. Michael Echols (R), who sits on the committee.

If the committee decides to go through with the proposal, many people will want to know how long they have until their child needs to get their shots.

“According to the information I’ve seen they would have to have it done by the first week of January. If I read the rules right, they got roughly 90 days before that rule goes into effect after they’ve implemented it,” Echols continued.

Health department leaders said they welcome the hearing and see it as a chance to clarify misinformation about the vaccines.

The meeting is open to the public.

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