The Seattle Public School Board on Wednesday passed a resolution to ask the Washington Board of Health to begin the process for adding a Covid-19 vaccine to the list of vaccine requirements for students attending the public schools.
According to Fox News, the board held community engagement sessions in advance of the decision. The board met with Leading up to the decision, school leaders conducted additional community engagement sessions with the following: Latinx Community with Public Health –Seattle and King County, the NAACP, the Seattle Special Education PTSA, the Somali Community, Families of Color Seattle, General Seattle Public Schools Families and Staff, Native American Families and Students of Color.
The process for adding the vaccine to the list of required shots for schoolchildren goes through a rigorous process at the state level and no decision is expected for many months.
Seattle Public School has 55,986 students in grades PreK-12.
On Tuesday, the Portland Public School Board debated a vaccine mandate for all students, but decided that this is not the right time to implement such a mandate. The board ultimately delayed the decision. Portland has 49,000 students enrolled in its public schools.
California was the first state in the nation to announce Covid-19 vaccine requirements for in-person learning starting the term following FDA full approval of the vaccine for a child’s age.
Since then, demonstrations have taken place. After Southern California parents pulled their children out of school to protest the Covid-19 vaccine mandate on Monday, the schools saw a 2 percent dip in attendance. Hundreds of people converged on the Capitol in Sacramento that day to protest the mandate.
The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine has been approved for youth ages 5 to 11 (and up to age 17) under the Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization. Earlier, the FDA approved the vaccine for ages 12-18. On Nov. 2, the Centers for Disease Control expanded vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allowed providers to begin vaccinating them immediately.