As the nation debates whether children should be forced to wear face masks at school, Dr. Anthony Fauci is now advocating for COVID-19 vaccination to be a condition of attending school.
What are the details?
Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said on CNN's "State of the Union" the COVID-19 vaccine should be added to the list of vaccines that most schools require students to have before admission.
"I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea," Fauci said.
"This is not something new. We have mandates in many places in schools, particularly public schools, that if, in fact, you want a child to come in, we have done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis," he continued. "So this would not be something new, requiring vaccinations for children to come to school."
Fauci, however, conceded that he understands "that a lot of people will be pushing back against" making COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for school attendance.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the COVID-19 vaccine for people age 12 and older. The age restriction preventing children under 12 from receiving the vaccine complicates Fauci's proposal.
However, in a separate interview on ABC's "This Week," Fauci predicted the FDA could give clearance by October for children younger than 12 to receive the vaccine. Last week, Fauci said clearance could come before the holiday season, Reuters noted.
Have any schools implemented a COVID vaccine mandate?
Earlier this month, the Culver City Unified School District in California likely became the first school district in the nation to enact such a requirement.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Culver City schools Supt. Quoc Tran said the student vaccine mandate was issued after safety protocol discussions with the school board, teacher and employee unions and parents — who agreed that the requirement would help protect their schools as much as possible. The district, which serves 7,100 K-12 students, has 900 employees, who also must be vaccinated.
"We felt that doing the minimum is not quite good enough. We could do more," Tran said. "We are in the context of constantly crowded places in school settings. The vaccine helps in case our children or staff members contract the virus. They have a lesser chance to be severely impacted."
According to the Los Angeles Times, the decision was praised by parents, students, and public health officials. Tran said there was minimal pushback to the district's decision.