Sen. Lankford: Public Schools and Colleges Should Not be Able to Mandate COVID Vaccination

By Ashlianna Kreiner | July 16, 2021 | 3:01pm EDT
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)   (Getty Images)
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) – When asked whether public schools and colleges should be able to mandate COVID vaccinations for their students, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said, “No.”

At the U.S. Capitol on July 15, CNS News asked Lankford, “Should public schools and colleges be able to mandate students to have the COVID vaccine?”

Lankford replied, “No.”

In preparation for the upcoming school year, colleges such as Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado have announced that they are requiring students to receive the vaccine.

In a letter posted on the university’s website, VT President Tim Sands wrote, “Vaccinations will be required for all students attending Virginia Tech in the fall, with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Members of the University of Colorado’s school board published a letter that says, “We have determined to require that all University of Colorado students, faculty and staff receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the start of fall semester 2021.”

Concerning public schools K-12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children under 12 “are not eligible for vaccination at this time.” The CDC also says, “People 12 years and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Schools can promote vaccinations among teachers, staff, families, and eligible students by providing information about COVID-19 vaccination, encouraging vaccine trust and confidence, and establishing supportive policies and practices that make getting vaccinated as easy and convenient as possible.”

According to the CDC, out of the 49,725 children under 17 that died in 2020-2021, only 335 involved COVID. The danger of children dying from COVID are significantly less than from pneumonia.

COVID vaccines are still not approved by the FDA, but are authorized for “emergency use” by the “FDA’s career scientists and physicians in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.”

According to CNN, 34 states had introduced legislation seeking to limit vaccine requirements as of June 22. Six of the proposed bills include language regarding education or schools. 

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