Lawmakers to decide Monday on mandating students to get the COVID-19 vaccine
BATON ROUGE - Monday lawmakers will meet to cast their votes on whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be required for students, and Governor John Bel Edwards says he's standing his ground.
"It's really important to embrace the science, and really it's also important to not engage in misinformation, and there's an awful lot of that out there as well," Governor Edwards said.
There are mixed emotions ahead of Monday's meeting of the House Committee on Health and Wellness. State lawmakers will vote on whether to mandate students 16 and older get the coronavirus vaccine next school year.
"This virus does affect children in profound ways, and it's really scary, I think when people minimize that," State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter said.
Parents—like politicians—are split on the matter.
"Let us make our decisions that we feel right for our own children," parent Allison Wisdom said.
"I think forcing anybody to do anything is an overreach. But if you have children who are going to be amongst other children, I would lean more toward doing it," Ada Shavers, another parent, said.
"If my children were forced to have the vaccine to go to school or daycare, I would pull them. And I would homeschool," Wisdom said.
"You might not have it, but the person sitting next to you might, so I say, if you're going to go to school and mix and mingle with other people, you ought to be vaccinated," says Allen Simien.
Edwards will have the final say on if students must be vaccinated, and he said Friday he intends to require that.
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