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Vax mandate for kids? The debate has arrived.
Nurse tells LSSD she'll pull her child if they mandate the vax, Seattle SD and other districts call for statewide student jab mandate
Yesterday, Erin Laws, a Lake Stevens mother and nurse with 27 years of experience, stood up in a public meeting and told the Lake Stevens School District (LSSD) Board of Directors that she will pull her child from school if the district requires kids to take the vaccine.
At this time, the LSSD has no plans to mandate a vaccine for kids.
Nevertheless, the topic is on the minds of local parents as momentum for the vaccination of children gains at the state and national level:
Last week, news broke that the Seattle School District will pass a resolution asking the state to require the vaccination of all school children* — and that the Seattle SD was gathering a coalition of other large districts to back their push.
Tuesday, an FDA advisory committee recommended regulators approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine formulated for 5-11 year olds.
Given the FDA advisory board’s recommendation of approval for the Pfizer jab, it’s likely that the FDA will grant full approval within days.
And upon FDA approval of the kids jab, many expect Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee to accede to the Seattle SD resolution, following in the footsteps of California’s Governor Gavin Newsom in instituting a statewide mandate requiring all students to be vaccinated against Covid.*
If and when Gov. Inslee mandates the vaccination of children, the issue will inevitably be thrust onto the laps of local school districts.
Last week, The Journal 425 spoke with LSSD spokesperson Jayme Taylor to see where LSSD stood on the prospect of mandating the vaccination of school kids.
Taylor stated that the district was not in contact with the Seattle SD effort and that the district had no current plans to mandate the COVID vaccine.
On Wednesday night, Laws cautioned the District against any consideration of mandating a vaccine, explaining why she was willing to pull her “straight A” student from school rather than face a vaccine mandate.
Laws argued that children do not face the same risk factors as adults, and the dangers of adverse vaccine affects like myocarditis and pericarditis offset any potential benefits children might receive from the jab.
“Teenage boys are far more likely to be hospitalized with pericarditis (as an adverse affect) from the shots than by COVID itself. We throw around the word *pericarditis like it's an easily treated condition but it's not. It can cause lifetime heart damage. Think about that with your own kids or grandkids...it could severely impact their ability to play sports, go for a run, just live a normal life. All for a treatment that they didn't even need.”
Some of Laws’ concerns were parallel to those voiced by doctors during the FDA advisory board hearing that preceded the vote.
The New York Times reported that “advisory committee members expressed concern about limited safety data, turning repeatedly to the risk of myocarditis, a rare condition involving inflammation of the heart muscle, in young vaccine recipients. Myocarditis and pericarditis, inflammation of the lining around the heart, have been tied to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, particularly in younger men.”
FDA advisory board member Dr. James Hildreth said that many children between 5 and 11 may already have some immunity and the need to vaccinate broadly might be less urgent.
“It just seems to me that in some ways we’re vaccinating children to protect the adults, and it should be the other way around,” he said. “I do believe that children at highest risk do need to be vaccinated. But vaccinating all of the children to achieve that just seems a bit much for me.”
Other FDA advisory board members asked if the board could instead approve a plan that targeted a narrower swath of children — those with identifiable comorbidities and/or existing natural immunity, for example, but the government regulators and pharmaceutical petitioners asked for a straight up or down recommendation on blanket immunization of children. Ultimately, the advisory board voted to recommend the vaccine’s approval for use on children age 5-11.
“We decided to go for it with a lot of heavy conscience.” - FDA advisory board member Dr. Eric Rubin.
With full FDA approval likely within days, the Seattle SD board is set to approve its resolution November 3. You can read the resolution in full here.
The full FDA advisory board hearing and vote is available here.
The LSSD Board of Directors meets again November 17.
If you’re a parent, teacher or student with an opinion on the prospect of a vaccine mandate for kids, The Journal 425 would like to hear from you. Leave a comment, text the Editor at 425-953-6762 or email us at email@example.com.