Can schools request the COVID-19 vaccine?A former school district attorney weighs
Now using the first COVID-19 vaccine Empowered to youthA big question (over 12 years old) is imminent: Will students be required to be vaccinated before returning to the classroom in the fall?
as a Professor of Education Policy and Law I am a former attorney in the school district, and I often think about this kind of issue.
Every state currently requires K-12 students to be vaccinated against certain diseases, despite the requirements – including Which lens Is deemed necessary, and Reasons why students can opt out -From one state to another.
Who can choose to drop out?
No state requires students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but how the state manages other vaccines and exemptions, and how to change the rules during an outbreak, can help us think about how the COVID-19 vaccine requirement might work.
For example, if students in all states have valid Medical reasonsFor example, a weakened immune system or an allergic reaction to vaccines.
in 44 states, Students can also choose not to accept the following vaccination requirements Religious reasons, in spite of Most major religions do not ban vaccines.Some states Considering the removal of religious exemptions Because of concerns about the decline in vaccination levels and local outbreaks of diseases such as measles. Connecticut Religious exemptions were lifted in April.
Fifteen states Allow philosophical exemptions based on moral or ethical issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Only about 2.5% Last year, 5% of U.S. kindergartens were the same as the previous year, and most of them were for religious or philosophical reasons.
What is particularly important now is Various states also adopt different exemptions during the outbreak. During the outbreak, 32 states banned unvaccinated students from attending school. A few states do not allow vaccines to be waived during an outbreak.
Court’s view on mandatory vaccines
For more than a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has supported the power of states to make these decisions.
In May 1901, The smallpox epidemic started in Boston. Familiar disease prevention measures have now been taken: sick patients are isolated for treatment, and the city has started a free voluntary vaccination program. As of December of the same year, the city had not yet controlled the epidemic, so the local health committee required all adult residents to be vaccinated within the scope authorized by the state.
The local government imposed fines on those who refused to be vaccinated, and a man filed a lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts to dispute the fine. In 1905, the Supreme Court heard his case and ruled that a state can require vaccination in that state. Public health benefits.
Today some Health Law Expert Think that the vaccination requirements are very important, so it can still be Trump card claims including personal freedom of religion, And the others are More skeptical.
COVID-19 vaccines have one major difference-they Only emergency use authorization At this time, it has not yet been fully approved by the FDA.This FDA’s emergency use regulations He said that people receiving medication must “be informed of the choice of accepting or rejecting the management of the product” and should also be told “the consequences of rejection (if any).” It remains to be seen how the lack of adequate approval will affect the country’s decisions regarding school vaccine authorization and how the courts will view these decisions.
In another case, military service personnel may be required to be vaccinated, but they must According to federal law, it is allowed to opt out of vaccines that only have emergency use authorization,unless The president gives up The regulations.
Pfizer (Pfizer)-the drug manufacturer whose vaccine received emergency use permission for teenagers on Monday, and CDC recommended age range On Wednesday-yes Begin the review process to obtain full FDA approval Suitable for people aged 16 and above.Same comments from teenagers Start later. Vaccine testing is still ongoing for younger children.
Can individual schools publish their own requirements?
Because states have issued vaccine requirements to protect public health, school vaccine requirements usually apply to Public and private K-12 schools, and daycare facilities.Only a few The state requires college students to be vaccinatedTherefore, in practice, the determination and implementation of vaccine requirements usually depend on individual higher education institutions.
A kind More and more universities It has been announced that they will require all students planning on campus to receive the COVID vaccine.Other institutions only require students to be vaccinated Who wants to live in a dormitory. however, At least one state legislature – Michigan -Considering prohibiting state universities from requesting vaccinations on the condition of attending face-to-face courses, thinking that the requirements for vaccinations would violate personal choices.
This raises an interesting question as to whether a single school district (such as a single college or university) can require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
When schools were required to be vaccinated in the late 19th century, the goal was to prevent the spread of smallpox. By 1915, 15 states and Washington DC require students to be vaccinated against smallpox, and 21 other states Local governments such as school districts and county health departments are allowed to impose this requirement.
School vaccination Surge in demand Over the past century, there has been an increasing acceptance of vaccine authorization as a public health policy in response to specific epidemics. Although most vaccination requirements have been issued at the state level in recent decades, whether school districts can be added to the list of required vaccines is still an open question and may vary from state to state.
The possibility that the court may intervene soon is also a problem.January Los Angeles Unified School District After announcing the plan to approve and approve the vaccine, its students are required to receive the COVID vaccine. Los Angeles Unified is the largest school district in the United States. With the imminent approach-and assuming that clinical trials continue to prove efficacy and safety-we may see more regions adopt this option.