Senator to Murphy on COVID vaccine rule for schools: Don’t do it

TRENTON — As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prepares to recommend that school children be required to get COVID shots, a state senator wants to stop Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration from enacting the rule in the New Jersey.

An advisory committee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday advised that the COVID vaccine be added to the list of recommended vaccinations for school children starting next year.

The full CDC will make changes to its guidelines in early 2023. But ultimately, states decide what is required for school attendance, not the federal government.

Arihana Macias, 7, receives a compress after reviving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children five to 12 years old at a Dallas County Health and Human Vaccination Site in Mesquite, Texas on Thursday, November 4, 2021. ( AP Photo/LM Otero/Seth Wenig, File)

(AP Photo/LM Otero/Seth Wenig, File)

Proposal to ban vaccine mandate

Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, on Thursday proposed legislation (S3267) that would ban mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for attending K-12 public schools.

“Parents across the state share my concerns about the administration’s intentions,” Corrado said. “This bill makes it clear that we don’t want bureaucrats in Trenton intimidating New Jersey families with more medical claims.”

The Murphy administration hasn’t said what it intends to do, if the entire CDC ends up recommending it.

“At this time, vaccination against COVID-19 is not a requirement for school attendance in New Jersey,” said Dalya Ewais, director of communications for the state Department of Health. “However, the New Jersey Department of Health strongly recommends that everyone be up to date with age-appropriate vaccinations, as recommended by the CDC’s Immunization Practices Advisory Committee.”

Virus outbreak Vaccines for children New York


Childhood COVID vaccination rates

According CDC data.

  • Under 2 years old, became eligible in June: 5.4% one dose, 2.7% full dose
  • 2-4 years, eligible since June: 9.2% one shot, 4.8% full dose
  • 5 to 11 years old, eligible since November 2021: 47.2% one shot, 40% full dose, 12.9% one booster
  • 12 to 17 years: 85.5% one dose, 74.3% full dose, 32.5% booster

“Obviously, parents object to the governor or anyone else telling them that they have to vaccinate their children with a vaccine that doesn’t seem particularly effective in preventing the virus,” Corrado said.

According state health department data.

And the college students?

Corrado and three other lawmakers are sponsoring a similar bill that would ban colleges and universities from requiring students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

That bill followed one sponsored by four other lawmakers that would mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff and others on college campuses.

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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