More than a dozen Republican state lawmakers are urging State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley to require parental consent before any COVID-19 vaccinations are administered at Louisiana’s K-12 schools.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized last week the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5-11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet this week to discuss nationwide recommendations.
Fourteen GOP House members, led by Rep. Kathy Edmonston, R-Gonzales, expressed skepticism and concern in a letter to Brumley about potentially ensuing vaccination activities at public schools.
Citing a July 13 academic study, the legislators wrote Monday, “The likelihood of children of this age group with no comorbidities to survive from Covid is 99.9973 percent.”
“The authorization for five-to-eleven-year-olds is under emergency use as an experimental drug and this fact must be communicated to those receiving the shot,” the letter read. “The only FDA ‘approved’ drug for Covid at this time is Comirnaty which is unavailable for distribution in America.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, recently endorsed COVID-19 vaccinations for children, saying during a news conference last week they represent a way forward for schools.
“We know that many of our children can’t yet be vaccinated, though we have our fingers crossed that within the next couple of weeks vaccines will be available for children 5 and older,” Edwards said. “If that happens, then virtually the entire K-12 population will be eligible.”
In their letter, the House representatives said COVID-19 is not “vaccine preventable” and should not be placed on school immunization lists. The statement reflects certain public health findings showing fully vaccinated individuals still can get infected with the delta variant and transmit the virus.
A study published last week in the British medical journal The Lancet found people with two vaccine doses could spread the infection to vaccinated and unvaccinated household members.
The Louisiana legislators’ main concern, however, was parental consent.
“Informed consent must be given to those receiving the shot and they must know they have the right to refuse,” they wrote. “Should any school district, medical professional, or government agency arrange a vaccination mobile unit or school-based clinic during school hours, we believe parents should be present should their minor child be immunized.
“At a minimum, verified parental consent for minor children should be obtained in advance if children are given a Covid shot on campus,” the letter concluded.
According to the FDA, the Pfizer vaccine was studied in about 3,100 children age 5 through 11 and no serious side effects were detected. Full vaccination will require two doses at least three weeks apart, a statement said.
This article was originally posted on GOP House reps want parental consent requirement for Louisiana school COVID vaccinations