The state’s Board of Well being voted unanimously to not transfer ahead with the petition to require the COVID vaccine for college kids.
TUMWATER, Wash. — The Washington State Board of Well being (BOH) voted to just accept an advisory group’s suggestion on Wednesday and never add COVID -19 vaccinations to the listing of required pictures for Ok-12 college students, at the least not but.
Earlier this 12 months a state advisory board beneficial towards it by a 7-6 vote.
Following an in depth dialogue and feedback from the general public, the BOH largely determined that, regardless of how protected it feels the COVID vaccine is for all eligible age teams, the repercussions of requiring it for youths had been too nice.
Board member Dr. Bob Lutz mentioned Wednesday throughout the assembly that in discussions with varied faculty superintendents throughout the state, he discovered there was actual concern college students can be saved from attending class.
“They’re very involved about lack of college students, dad and mom taking their youngsters out of faculty. Whether or not that is actual or not, irrespective. That may be a logistical concern that they’ve, and I feel we have now to honor that,” Lutz mentioned.
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State Secretary of Well being Dr. Umair Shah finally made the movement to just accept the advisory board’s suggestion and never embody the COVID-19 vaccine within the state’s required vaccines for college kids.
The movement handed unanimously, however the board might revisit the requirement sooner or later.
“All of us are united and ensuring that we’re doing the correct factor and being health-protective of all Washingtonians, and I feel that is the important thing message that’s so crucial right here,” Shah mentioned.
Relating to the pandemic, he mentioned he hoped that the state wouldn’t “simply transfer on, as we regularly do as People, to the subsequent headline,” however that the state and full nation takes a “transformational” method.
“Actually assume by what we have now gone by, and the trauma that each one of us have gone by. The way it’s impacted all of us, and actually take into consideration being transformational and actually tackle these very points,” Shah defined.
Washington state requires 11 vaccinations for college kids to attend faculty together with Chickenpox, Mumps, Polio, Hepatitis B and whooping cough.
Based on the Washington State Division of Well being COVID-19 dashboard, 36% of ages 5-11 have began the vaccination course of whereas practically 32% are totally vaccinated.
For the age group 12-15, 59% have obtained at the least one shot whereas 55% are totally vaccinated and 39% have obtained a booster.
Within the 16- and 17-year-old age group 67% have began the vaccination course of whereas 62% are totally vaccinated and 43% have obtained a booster.
Vaccination charges in King County are a bit greater. 52% of ages 5-11 are totally vaccinated whereas 76% of youngsters ages 12-17 are totally vaccinated.
The state dropped its indoor masking mandate on March 12, with faculties throughout the state additionally dropping masks necessities across the identical time.
Whereas instances have been on a gradual decline throughout the state because the mandate was lifted, consultants say that waning immunity and a persistent omicron BA.2 variant might gasoline one other wave within the ongoing pandemic.
As of April 11, 74% of the state’s eligible inhabitants is totally vaccinated and case counts have plateaued at ranges just like these seen final summer season.