PPS to recommend 6-month delay in student COVID vax mandate

Coronavirus

Public comments expected on November 16 -- but no vote

Rose City Park Elementary first graders are back in the classroom for the first day of hybrid learning. (PPS)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Public School officials will recommend to the school board to delay for 6 months taking any action on a COVID vaccine requirement at a public meeting next Tuesday.

PPS Chief of Staff Jonathan Garcia said in a statement released Friday night that there will be more public discussion about the vaccine requirement on November 16 but they “do not expect the school board to vote or take action that evening.”

The public meeting that night will be held virutally and livestreamed to the public, Garcia said. Public comment will be taken virtually.

Whether to implement a student vaccination mandate for COVID-19 has been a thorny issue for PPS and school board across Oregon.

In his Friday night statement, Garcia said “82% of all people over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine (more than 78% for ages 12 to 17) here in our region.” He noted PPS has vaccine clinics at some schools, families are beginning to get their child between the ages of 5-11 vaccinated and he said public health experts say Multnomah County is “nearing that important marker of reaching herd immunity.”

But if the school board recommends the mandate, PPS would recommend “a nonmedical exemption process that is consistent with the Oregon Health Authority’s guidelines that are applied with other immunizations.”

However, no vote is expected at the public meeting November 16.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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