Mead School Boards opposes vaccine requirement for students

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FILE: Vaccine

MEAD, Wash. – In Monday night’s board meeting, the Mead School board voted on a resolution to oppose a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students.

Though the resolution passed, it doesn’t mean that a vaccine mandate is off the table.

The decision to require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 would ultimately come from the state.

The Washington State Board of Health is currently considering the COVID-19 vaccine to be a part of the required immunizations for students. The board has an advisory group meeting to discuss the possibility of this. The group has to answer nine different criteria in which the COVID-19 vaccine would make sense to be required for students.

In its resolution and a letter to the Board of Health and Governor Jay Inslee, the Mead board believes the COVID-19 vaccine would not be meeting all nine criteria. However, that is up to the Board of Health and the advisory group to consider.

The Mead School board says if the COVID-19 vaccine is required for students, it would “result in irreparably broken trust with the community.”

The board continues to say the mandate would “further breed distrust and diminish support for our institutions.”

The resolution also says trust in public schools is already strained and that school boards and administrators are having to deal with the burden of all the mandates that have been passed down since the start of the pandemic.

The Mead board believes if a vaccine mandate were to go in place, it could result in more decreased enrollment and “erode public trust and undoubtedly lead to the community refusing to support local levies.” The resolution says a lack of trust will “do more harm” in being able to educate and meet students’ needs than the “threat COVID-19 poses.”

The district sent out an email to families asking for their thoughts on the possible COVID-19 vaccine requirement. It received nearly 3,000 responses for a district with around 10,000 students.

It is worth noting that the survey was conducted through a public link and can be filled out by anyone. It can also be filled out multiple times.

Of those responses, 70 percent, or 2,085 of the nearly 3,000 who responded, said they are against a requirement. Sixty-one percent of people who responded said they will not vaccinate their students if there is a requirement.

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