Virginia Department of Health denies request for school COVID-19 vaccine mandates
VIRGINIA (FOX 5 DC) - Virginia’s Department of Health will not be moving forward with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, a decision that comes just one day after the D.C. Council voted to require the vaccine for eligible students.
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State health leaders in Virginia say no action is the best action in response to a mother’s petition urging them to require the COVID-19 shot for students.
The petition garnered more than 15,000 responses and the reaction was overwhelmingly against a mandate at nearly 95 percent.
The Virginia woman submitted the petition to the state, requesting the Virginia Department of Health require all teachers and students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
READ MORE: DC Council votes on bill requiring students to get vaccinated against COVID-19
The commonwealth’s health department tells FOX 5 they opted against taking any action because, although the vaccine is fully approved for 16 and 17-year-olds, the CDC has not added the COVID-19 vaccine to its childhood immunization schedule.
FOX 5 has also been told it’s highly unlikely the state’s health department would supersede the CDC in requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for teachers and students.
The General Assembly could opt to update the state’s school vaccination requirements, but it’s unlikely that would happen before and if the CDC adds the COVID-19 shot to its required immunization schedule for children.
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Maryland’s Department of Health says it recommends the vaccine for students, but each school can set its own policies.