An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday voted that officials should update their recommended immunization schedules to include additional COVID-19 vaccines, including schedules for children.
But in the lead-up to a vote by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the erroneous claim spread that vaccines would be required to attend school.
In fact, the CDC does not have the authority to set vaccination requirements in schools, and votes do not mandate vaccinations for schoolchildren. It’s a state decision.
Here are the facts.
Claims: If CDC adds the COVID-19 vaccine to your child’s immunization schedule, it will be mandatory to attend school.
FACT: The false allegations gained momentum after being shared by Fox News host Tucker Carlson this week.
“CDC is about to add Covid vaccine to children’s immunization schedules, making it mandatory for children to attend school,” Carlson tweeted Tuesday night. The tweet included a portion of his show that started with him making the same claim.
Another popular tweet similarly claimed that a CDC committee vote would make the vaccine “mandatory for school enrollment.”
However, Public Health has not determined vaccine requirements in schools.
Wendy Marriner, professor emeritus of health law, ethics, and human rights at Boston University, said, “States have the power, not the CDC, to enact state laws requiring vaccinations.” There is none.”
CDC spokesperson Kate Grusich told the Associated Press by email that the agency “only makes recommendations regarding vaccine use, and school entry vaccination requirements are determined by state or local jurisdictions.” said.
Grusich said the action will streamline clinical guidance for health care providers by adding the COVID-19 vaccine to a single list of all currently licensed, licensed, and regularly recommended vaccines. I explained that I intended
“It’s important to note that there are no changes to our COVID-19 vaccine policy,” she said.
The Immunization Advisory Board is a group of professionals who make recommendations to the CDC about vaccines. Its recommendation to update the schedule with other amendments would need to be formally adopted by the agency, and the revised schedule would not go into effect until 2023.
Fox News presented AP with a follow-up segment by Carlson on Wednesday night. In it, he revisited the topic and claimed that the CDC was “lying.” Carlson argued that “more than 10 states have set immunization requirements (rather than suggestions or requirements) for their children to attend education according to the CDC’s immunization schedule.”
“For example, the Virginia Department of Health says, ‘Vaccines must be administered according to the CDC’s schedule,'” he said. He gave Massachusetts as another example.
However, these states do not list all vaccines on the schedule in their school requirements.
For example, Virginia does not require an annual flu vaccine to attend school, even though the vaccine is on the CDC schedule. Neither does Massachusetts.
“There will be no direct and immediate impact from the addition of the COVID-19 vaccine to the vaccination schedule of required vaccines in Virginia schools,” Maria Reppas, spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Health, said in an email. ‘ said. Lepas said any changes to school requirements would require legislative or regulatory action.
Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine policy expert and professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said he was unaware of any state that automatically mandated all vaccines around school schedules.
“These are recommendations for pediatricians and family doctors when caring for children,” Schaffner said. “These are recommendations only and are not automatically enforced.”
Schaffner said many states are reluctant to require human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, even though they are included in childhood schedules.
States can use legislation to mandate specific vaccines or authorize state agencies and local health agencies to require specific vaccines for specific age groups, Marriner said. She added that some states include private schools when setting requirements, but in other cases private schools may also voluntarily require vaccinations.
This is part of AP’s efforts to address widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add facts to misleading content circulating online. . You can read more about fact checking in AP here.
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