Contributing News Reporter
Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the nation’s first statewide Covid-19 vaccine mandate for school children. According to the New York Times, he declared that children from kindergarten through twelfth grade will be required to be inoculated against the coronavirus as soon as next fall to attend public and private schools in the state of California.
Governor Newsom said that the state would phase in the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for in-person learning after receiving full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The mandate could begin as early as next fall, and parents from Moraga and Lafayette have begun to express their concerns about the mandate (New York Times).
“I am not an anti-vax person. My kids are up to date with all their shots but this one. It is too soon to put this vaccine in my child, there is not enough data on children so that I can feel comfortable enough to vaccinate my kid,” said an anonymous parent who has two children who attend Campolindo Highschool. The parents and their children are not vaccinated. Because of the quicker development of this vaccine, it is causing some parents to be skeptical when it comes to their children.
“The survival rate in kids is not high, it is a greater risk to get the vaccine,” said the parent from Campolindo Highschool. They gave examples of why they do not want to get the vaccine yet. They explained that they knew someone who had passed shortly after getting the vaccine. They also knew someone who started to have breathing problems after receiving the vaccine. The decision to get the vaccine seems to be changing from person to person based on their personal experiences.
Not all parents are skeptical and are willing to let their child get the vaccine once the FDA approves of it. “I would vaccinate my daughter if there was a vaccine for children. Approval should be coming out soon, when it does she will be vaccinated,” said Emil Delgado-Olsen, a parent of two children, one who attends Future Academy and the other Lafayette Elementary. Delgado-Olsen said that he and his son in high school are both vaccinated. “Yes, I am vaccinated. The second dose of Moderna made me super fatigued and exhausted with around 4-6 hours of aching. My son had little to no side effects,” said Delgado-Olsen.
“I believe that high school and middle school students should get the vaccine because their brains and bodies are more developed. I believe that elementary students should be allowed to wait until more research is available,” said Keeley Sparrman, a student at Saint Mary’s and a parent whose child attends Donald L. Rheem Elementary. She also believes that there is not enough data being done with the new Covid-19 vaccines towards children who are still in elementary school. Sparrman's response to the mandate is that she is “not super excited. I would like to wait longer for my kindergartner to have to get the vaccine, because of the reactions I had to both shots.”
Sparrman was the first parent who wanted the vaccine for kids in middle school and up. She does question the mandate for the younger children and does not think it is necessary for younger children just yet. She is an example of parents who seem to be alright with the vaccine in older kids but take a second look when it comes down to younger children.
As the date for the mandate becomes closer, it seems likely that parents in the Moraga and Lafayette districts will turn towards the vaccine so that their children may continue schooling.
**For more information on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Research, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/effectiveness-research/protocols.html **
Melanie Moyer '22,