Washington not yet weighing school COVID vaccine mandate

Coronavirus

State officials will wait until vaccine fully approved by FDA

Illustration picture shows a young boy wearing a mouth mask in class, at primary school De Valke in Lichtervelde, Thursday 18 March 2021. As the number of Covid-19 contaminations rises again, especially with children and teachers in schools, the Flemish government and school networks have decided to impose an obligation to wear a mouth mask in class for all children in the 5th and 6th year of primary school, as from next Monday at the latest.
BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER (Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) – Authorities say schools in Washington state won’t consider a requirement to mandate COVID-19 vaccines in schoolchildren until a vaccine is fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA on Monday signed off on emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. The state’s secretary of health, Umair Shah, said Tuesday more than 370,000 Washington teens and adolescents are in this age group. Teens ages 16 and up are already eligible.

The Seattle Times reports that until a COVID-19 vaccine is formally approved, however, officials from the Washington State Board of Health – the board that oversees state vaccine policies – say they won’t consider adding it to the list of required immunizations.

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