Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Vaccine will be mandatory for every public school student in major U.S. city


Every public school student must be innoculated for the coronavirus before returning to class, once a vaccine is available, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District said Monday.

Comparing it to required vaccinations for measles and mumps, Austin Beutner said he hopes all students will be innoculated by January 2022, the Los Angeles Times reported.

During a pre-recorded briefing, he assured skeptical parents there's an option for "a child to stay online learning and therefore not have to go back to campus."

The Pfizer vaccine given emergency authorization by the FDA in December is for people 16 and older. Testing on children as young as 12 began in October and will take several more months to complete.

Studies, however, have shown that children rarely transmit the coronavirus, and their survival rate, according to the CDC, is 99.997%.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested in August that the vaccine would be mandatory for residents of his country but later backtracked.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House coronavirus adviser, said in August he would not support requiring the COVID-19 vaccine nationwide.

"We don't want to be mandating from the federal government to the general population. It would be unenforceable and not appropriate," he said.

States, cities and businesses, however, could require vaccination and impose penalties for noncompliance, such as a fine.

In early December, a bill was proposed in the New York State Assembly that would require COVID-19 vaccines for all residents who are able to safely receive it. The move came after the New York State Bar Association recommended the state consider making it mandatory for every resident, except for people exempted by a doctor.

In Virginia in August, the health commissioner said the state would mandate the vaccine, but a spokeswoman later said there were no such plans.

The CEO of Australia's Quantas said in December that proof of vaccination would be a requirement for all international passengers with his airline in the future and others likely would adopt the policy.

However, in a Reuters panel discussion with health experts and tourism authorities on Monday, World Travel and Trade Council CEO Gloria Guevara said she disagreed with "the approach from Qantas."

"We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel," she said. "If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination."

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