Some schools are requiring covid vaccinations for in-person classes. Can and will public high schools follow?

There have been vaccines dated all the way back to the 1700s. Over time, humans have been creating and improving vaccines for years. But today, we face a new challenge. COVID-19 does not only affect businesses, travel, and services in general, it affects our schools as well. Approved by the CDC recommendations, followed by FDA’s decision made on Monday, May 10, 2021, adolescents aged 12-15 are now eligible to get COVID vaccines. With that being said, there is a concern on whether schools should require vaccines for students who wish to go in person this coming fall. 

In the U.S, school vaccination requirements are established by states instead of the government, but no state has yet required schools to have a COVID-19 vaccination requirement yet. However, FDA has determined the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has met the required standards for a EUA (Emergency Use Authorization). The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has shown a positive effect in preventing COVID-19. This information has FDA assure further vaccination.  With the first COVID-19 vaccine approved December 11, 2020, for ages 16 and above, we are now making our way into late May with the approval of vaccines for ages 12-15. Some may argue that at the rate these establishments and tests are moving, we may have students heading back to school in the late fall, with the requirements of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

This new plan is of great concern, due to student’s exposure to family members, each other, and staff. Some students may be available to be excused by this potential requirement, depending on their medical records. According to the database maintained by the Chronicles of Education, about 360 public and private colleges have set COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Despite all of this, some schools still claim that they will not mandate COVID vaccinations, there are even students who protest mandate vaccinations at colleges.

Overall, no vaccine has yet been required for schools by states. But with the forward testing and recording of the COVID-19 vaccines, that may change within the next few months. Now that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for ages 12-15, high schools may take part in school requirements for a vaccine. 

Resource credits to: www.edweek.org, www.fda.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.cnbc.com, and www.usnews.com 

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