WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd) is introducing legislation to prevent states from enforcing Covid vaccine mandates for children attending public schools, he announced Oct. 24. He characterized potential mandates for Covid vaccines as a barrier to entering public schools.
Van Drew’s statement and introduced legislation comes as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held an annual gathering to adjust the slate of vaccines doctors should recommend to patients of all ages. They voted to add the Covid vaccine to that list Oct. 20.
Van Drew suggested the agency had voted to update the suggested list of vaccines for school children. While that is technically true, the CDC’s recommendations are provided to doctors for both children and adults. Vaccine requirements for school children can utilize CDC suggestions, but they are determined at the state level.
“The CDC knows that by updating their list of suggested vaccines for schoolchildren, many states will force children to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” Van Drew said.
The statement by Van Drew comes on the heels of Tucker Carlson incorrectly tweeting Oct. 18 that “The CDC is about to add the Covid vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule, which would make the vax mandatory for kids to attend school.”
In his prepared statement, he highlighted the low risk of infection in children and the vaccine’s inability to prevent the spread of Covid. The illness appears in children at a similar or higher incidence rate than adults. The vaccines were not designed to prevent the spread of Covid, and instead are aimed at reducing the likelihood of severe illness and death. Children who have contracted Covid are hospitalized and die at very low rates.
Van Drew raised alarm at states that would ignore “the science and the will of parents.” The congressman, running for reelection, blamed it as a distraction.
“Test scores across the country dropped to its lowest levels in decades because of the left shutting down schools and teachers’ unions protesting the return to in-person learning,” Van Drew stated.
The congressman provided no details on what the legislation would entail.
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