President Biden pressed schools across the nation to hold at least one “pop-up vaccination clinic” for children over 12 years old before starting the academic year, as reported Thursday by Reuters.
“We can, and we must open schools this fall, full time,” Biden said. “We can’t afford another year out of the classroom.”
Biden directed pharmacies to participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, prioritizing vaccinations for children aged 12 and up while coordinating with schools to host “pop-up vaccination clinics, Education Week reported.
“Parents, get your children vaccinated. You do it for so many other things right now,” Biden said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than a third of children between the ages of 12 and 15 have been fully vaccinated to date, and under 40 percent of 16 thru 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated.
The pressure to vaccinate children comes as Biden’s administration pandemic strategy is criticized for the confusion in its guidance requiring the vaccinated to wear masks. At the same time, they tout the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Thursday school districts returning to mask mandates are doing so “to protect the vaccinated” and prevent unvaccinated or vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections from transmitting the virus to others.
Murthy said the latest CDC guidance urging Americans to wear masks indoors in public places where there is substantial transmission was “intended to reduce transmission, recognizing that some breakthrough cases can actually end up transmitting infection.”
The CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, was asked by CNN New Day host John Berman about the “metric” for dropping the guidance for children to wear masks in school:
I think if we see more and more people who are vaccinated, our children are vaccinated, we have full vaccination in schools, we have full vaccination in teachers, all of those are documented, we have disease rates that are low, I think then we can start thinking about what — how we can loosen up and not seeing clusters and outbreaks in these school systems. The thing that’s most important to me through all of this is that our kids get back in school full-time in-person learning. And we’re not there yet. We’re far from there. And I want our children to be safe.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will require weekly COVID tests regardless of vaccination status for staff and students returning to school.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is not requiring but encouraging unvaccinated K-12 students and staff members to wear masks indoors.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) calls a special congressional session to vote on a school mask mandate and restore the Public Health Emergency Declaration.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said Friday; however, he will issue an executive order that allows parents to decide if their children should wear masks in school.
Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a physician, criticized the CDC’s push for mask mandates once again, stating science does not support mandating vaccines for those with immunity, whether from natural immunity, because of having already been exposed to the virus or having had the vaccine.
Thirty-five million people officially have had COVID, but really conservative estimates, even from the CDC, indicate another 70 some odd million have had it, so really it is over a hundred million Americans have had it, probably 150 million to 160 million have been inoculated with the vaccine. Together, we have an enormous amount of success with immunity.
“In fact, the other day, I saw that over 65 years of age, 90% of people have now been inoculated,” the senator added. “So, this is extraordinary success, and yet, they say, oh no, we have to inoculate your newborn in the hospital before you can take them home.”