State health officials in Texas have rejected the push from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to introduce COVID-19 vaccine mandates for schools across the country.
As Slay News reported, the CDC advisory panel voted unanimously to recommend adding COVID-19 vaccines to the child and adolescent immunization schedules.
The CDC still has to accept the recommendation but is expected to do so given its stance on vaccines throughout the pandemic.
The push for child vaccines from the CDC comes despite the shots posing a far greater risk to children than the virus itself.
Shortly after the CDC voted for the shots to be mandated, the entity that determines the vaccination schedule for children in Texas was quick to adjust its website.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) updated its website by removing the line that stated: “Children need all CDC-recommended vaccines” to attend school.
One of the CDC advisers who approved the COVID-19 vaccine for children last week said it indicates that the virus is endemic.
“When I think about the routine immunization schedule as a pediatrician, I think of it as an opportunity to prevent serious disease and death,” Dr. Matthew Daley, an adviser, said.
“And if something is added to the schedule, it’s because I feel like the benefits continue to strongly outweigh the risks.”
The COVID-19 vaccines have proven increasingly ineffective against both infection and severe illness from newer virus variants.
In addition, there is no evidence the shots protect against severe disease for children under 5.
“Based on currently available data, patients should be informed of the possible cardiac complications that can arise after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine,” Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in a statement on October 7.
“With a high level of global immunity to COVID-19, the benefit of vaccination is likely outweighed by this abnormally high risk of cardiac-related death among men in this age group.”
While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s spokesperson, Renae Eze, said in a statement that “Texas has a longstanding law that protects parents’ rights to decide what vaccinations their children will get.
“To protect Texans’ right to choose for themselves and their children, Governor Abbott issued an executive order last year ensuring exceptions.”
Abbott’s executive order, issued on October 11, 2021, remains in place, subject to legislative action.
“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” the order states.
Currently, the Texas Education Code grants the DSHS authority to set immunization requirements without legislative action.
Under the school vaccine exemption section on the DSHS website, a note states that the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t listed because “the state of Texas does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine for attendance” at schools and daycare facilities.
As Slay News reported last week, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis also shot down the CDC’s recommendations for child vaccinations, warning there will be “no Covid shot mandates” for Florida’s kids.
“There’s been a lot of questions to our office about the CDC potentially adding COVID vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule,” DeSantis said.
“And I know a lot of parents are concerned about that because if that’s on the immunization schedule, the fear is that schools could potentially mandate your child to get a COVID shot, even if that’s not something that you want to do.
“So I just want to let everyone be clear, as long as I’m around, and as long as I’m kicking and screaming, there will be no Covid shot mandates for your kids.”
“That is your decision,” he continued.
“That is your decision to make as a parent.”