By Guy Page
The State of Vermont will not require Covid-19 vaccination for public school children during the 2023-24 school year, state officials confirmed yesterday.
Vermont Daily Chronicle asked Gov. Phil Scott at his press briefing whether the vaccines would be required. Scott said he didn’t know but would provide the information. A few hours later, after an inquiring email, Scott’s press secretary Jason Maulucci responded, “I confirmed with [Commisioner of Health] Dr. [Mark] Levine it will not be.”
Also, the University of Vermont no longer requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
The CDC voted last fall to add the Covid-19 vaccine to the schedule of recommended vaccines for children and adults. However, the decision is left up to the states. Last October, state officials said the decision would follow a recommendation by the little-known Vermont Immunization Advisory Council (VIAC).
Vermont Health Dept. spokesperson Katie Warchut told VDC in October: “Under Vermont law, the vaccine schedule for school attendance is adopted by regulation. The Department of Health convenes an advisory committee that takes into account [the CDC’s] recommendations but is not bound by them.”
According to Brittanica’s vaccinesprocon.org, only California (effective July 1, 2023) and DC (effective for the 2022-2023 school year) have announced the intent to require the COVID-19 vaccine and both will require only fully FDA approved coronavirus vaccines for the recommended age groups, which are the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (brand name Comirnaty) for children 12 and up, and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (brand name Spikevax) for those 18 and up (which could include some high school students).
The D.C. superintendent of schools website states: “Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, the COVID-19 vaccine is required for school enrollment and attendance in the District of Columbia for all students who are of an age for which there is a COVID-19 vaccination fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”