On October 25, Tucker Carlson, the Fox News personality tweeted “The CDC is about to add the Covid vaccine to the childhood immunization schedule, which would make the vax mandatory for kids to attend school.” The tweet included a segment from his show in which he began by making the same claim. The claim is false. Vaccines will not become mandatory in all schools just by being added to the CDC schedule. States and local districts make those determinations.
COVID-19 vaccinations effectively reduce severe symptoms, hospitalizations, and death, which is why the Centers of Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will vote to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the recommended vaccine schedule for children. The vaccine schedule is for healthcare professionals to know what licensed, authorized and routinely recommended vaccinations should be communicated to children and adults. The keyword is recommendation – the CDC does not create laws. CDC spokesperson Kate Grusich said in an email that the agency “only makes recommendations for use of vaccines, while state or local jurisdictions determine school-entry vaccination requirements.” As of now, the state of California has not mandated COVID-19 vaccination requirements for children.
The data shows us that the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season is to get the bivalent booster because it offers some protection against the new COVID-19 strains, get vaccinated against the flu to help build our immunity and mask up when traveling, in large indoor spaces, and not feeling well.