State Lawmakers Reject Coronavirus Vaccine Mandate for Louisiana Students
Louisiana lawmakers in the House Health and Welfare Committee voted 13-2 against Gov. John Bel Edwards' proposed coronavirus vaccine mandate for some Louisiana students.
At yesterday's meeting, all Republicans on the committee voted to reject the rule, while three Democrats also joined them in the rejection.
This is not likely the end of this issue though. Gov. Edwards has indicated he would likely overrule this vote. If that were the case, it is believed that the fate of the plan would likely then be decided by the courts.
Christina Stephens, spokesperson for the Governor's office, released the following statement after the vote:
"As the Governor said on Friday, he supports adding the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the immunization schedule and, barring a recommendation from public health experts, his opinion would not change. Also, as LDH testified today in the hearing, the Department absolutely has the authority to add this vaccine to the immunization schedule, despite the misinformation presented today at the Legislature. This vaccine is safe, it is effective and it is easily accessible across the state. Louisiana has some of the broadest opt-outs for parents who do not want to vaccinate their children, including health, religious and philosophical reasons. None of that will change when this vaccine is added to the immunization schedule."
There were plenty of people at the meeting whose position on the matter stood in opposition to that of the Governor.
House Speaker Clay Schexnayder had this to say:
"Today’s committee meeting is important because we are talking about a parent’s right to make health decisions for their children moving forward, and I think LDH has overstepped their boundaries with this mandate."
Louisiana law allows parents to easily exempt their child from a vaccine on the Immunization Schedule by simply claiming a medical, religious, or personal/philosophical exemption.
If COVID-19 is added to the schedule, parents will also be easily able to exempt their children from this vaccine as well, state health leaders said.
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