Louisiana Drops COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement For Schools
While some are wringing their hands over the on-going existence of COVID-19, others are understanding that COVID will be with humans permanently. As the realization of COVID's long-term outlook sets in, more level-headed decisions are being made about the virus, and mandates.
For months, experts have told the public to watch hospitalization figures, and not case counts. But that hasn't stopped some from "sounding their alarm" about cases recently. Even though hospitalization numbers have remained flat. These facts are leading many to understand the concept of a pandemic moving into an endemic phase. Which is leading to changes to policy at this point.
Including a change to policy plans for Louisiana schools.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the Louisiana Department of Health will not be adding COVID-19 vaccines to the list of required vaccinations for students in the state. This includes the state's day care, K-12 and college students, starting in the 2022-23 school year. The full addition of the vaccinations was the proposed plan in 2021.
One of the reasons given is that the vaccine has yet to receive fully approved status from the FDA for children. The Louisiana Department of Health sent out a statement on the change, which stated:
“When LDH began the standard process of adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the school immunization schedule, we expected more age groups would have full FDA approval in advance of the 2022-2023 school year...The FDA has not yet fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine for those under the age of 16; therefore, at the start of the 2022 school year, students in Louisiana will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We have the utmost confidence in the rigorous FDA processes; however, they do take time.”
LDH added the change is happening now to give families, and schools, time to prepare.