In the present day, the Washington State Board of Well being unanimously handed a movement to simply accept the advice from a technical advisory group (TAG) towards a COVID-19 immunization requirement for school-entry. Board members did reiterate help for the COVID-19 vaccines and hoped for voluntary vaccination of faculty youngsters.
The vote towards a vaccine mandate for college youngsters got here after an hour-and-a-half of public remark and hundreds of emails over the previous months opposing such a requirement. (My public remark is included beneath.)
I used to be glad to see the board make this choice, given what we all know in regards to the vaccines’ limitations, what we don’t find out about its attainable unwanted effects, the ability of pure immunity and the power to contract and unfold COVID-19 no matter vaccination standing.
Technical advisory group members have been rightly involved in regards to the many unknowns of the vaccine, vaccine limitations, and the fairness and useful resource points concerned in such a requirement. Board members echoed the fairness and useful resource issues, and so they famous the social tradeoff of such a requirement. The members additionally have been open to reconsidering the problem at a later date — if the illness additional evolves, if vaccines evolve and when extra is thought about how you can negate social, fairness and faculty useful resource points.
This vote would possibly assist the State Board of Well being rebuild the belief it should want for public well being issues sooner or later. As soon as folks knew in regards to the board’s consideration of a COVID-19 immunization requirement, it adopted a really thorough and clear course of. It was open to listening to from the general public and even prolonged the general public remark time put aside in conferences to accommodate a flood of enter.
WPC’s public remark on the April 13 State Board of Well being assembly follows:
Thanks for the chance to talk immediately. I’m Elizabeth Hovde with the Washington Coverage Heart.
I adopted the technical advisory group’s consideration of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and I benefited from the entire expert-led periods supplied of their conferences. I agree with the group’s ultimate suggestion to not embrace a COVID-19 immunization requirement for college entry.
We don’t but know sufficient in regards to the vaccines or their unwanted effects on youngsters. Many children now carry pure immunization towards the illness, and vaccination has been broadly out there for many who need it. Hospitalizations are additionally thought of manageable sufficient for the state to elevate its masks mandate. Masks are a far much less intrusive public well being measure than vaccination necessities.
Analysis exhibits that the COVID-19 vaccines out there don’t stop contraction or transmission of the virus, making the good thing about such a requirement unable to outweigh the cons of such a requirement.
Lengthy-proven vaccines are well-demonstrated, important elements of public well being. Polio, whooping cough, mumps and rubella and different traditionally debilitating childhood diseases have been tremendously diminished by their widespread use. This newest vaccine is new, nonetheless, and, as famous, it doesn’t cease COVID-19 contraction or unfold. It doesn’t match our state’s requirements.
State coverage ought to prioritize patient-centered well being care. And the choice to obtain a COVID19 vaccine is one which ought to be made between medical doctors and their sufferers — with out the stress of a school-entry requirement.
Thanks. Please let me know in case you have any questions in regards to the suggestions we’ve been listening to relating to this consideration or in regards to the COVID-19 vaccines’ limitations.