New Jersey State Lawmaker: Coronavirus Vaccine Should Be Required for Children

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ED OUDENAARDEN/AFP via Getty Images

A New Jersey state lawmaker believes that the coronavirus vaccine should eventually become mandatory for children and revealed that it has been a topic of discussion among legislators.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Democrat, revealed that officials have been discussing making the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for school-age children in the future.

“When it is that a vaccine is appropriate for children, I believe it ought to be included in that list of vaccines that are required for children,” Vitale said, according to MSN.

“I’d like to incorporate it into the other vaccination bill that would require children to get vaccinated as a condition to entering school,” he explained, though the conversation, he said, remains “preliminary.”

“It’s not complicated to decide whether or not to include a COVID vaccine as a condition of school,” Vitale said. “The decision is going to be whether or not the vaccine is available, and if the science supports its efficacy”:

The state currently requires children to have several vaccines upon enrolling in school, unless they have certain health conditions or cite a religious exemption. Some 14,000 school children have avoided the requirement as their parents claimed vaccination violated their beliefs.

Earlier this month, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order which “automatically enrolls residents who choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine into the state’s existing vaccine registry.”

Per the governor’s office:

The Governor’s Executive Order changes inclusion into the New Jersey Immunization Information System from an opt-in to an opt-out program for residents who elect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. That group of residents will be automatically enrolled into the system, and will then be permitted to opt-out of the registry 30 days after the public health emergency expires.

Currently, all individuals born on or after January 1, 1998 are automatically enrolled in the registry, unless they opt-out of the registry. Any individual born prior to January 1, 1998 can elect to opt-in to the registry.

Murphy said the state is “exploring every avenue to maximize efficacy and efficiency” and “taking this step today to ensure that New Jerseyans who choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine get the most effective course, on the proper timetable, without logistical or bureaucratic hurdles in the way.”

In October, officials expressed hope that the Garden State would see 70 percent of the state’s adult population vaccinated in the first six months of the vaccine being available.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned this week that well over a majority of Americans will need to be vaccinated in order to create an “umbrella of immunity.”

“When that happens, Governor, is going to be entirely dependent upon how well we do, how well I do, you do, your health officials, in getting the message out of why it’s so important for people to get vaccinated,” Fauci told New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), adding, “because if 50 percent of the people get vaccinated, then we don’t have that umbrella of immunity over us.”

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