Wash. Board of Health’s technical advisory group decides not to recommend requiring COVID vaccine for students

Generic vaccine
Eugene Hoshiko

OLYMPIA, Wash.– The Washington Board of Health’s technical advisory group looking into adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the state’s list of required immunizations decided against it.

At its meeting Thursday, members talked about adding the shot to the list and made their final decision. The votes were six yes, seven no and four unsure.

Those who did not support adding it expressed doubt about making a recommendation to the Board of Health. They also said they were concerned about the unintended consequences of doing so. Members stated concerns about a lack of good data and not being comfortable with children possibly losing time away from school.

The people who voted to recommend adding the vaccine said the technical advisory group had an opportunity to help get rid of COVID-19. Others said the vaccine should be added when it’s fully once it is fully licensed by the FDA and other members expressed the vaccine should be added to the school entry list in the future.

This doesn’t mean it won’t still get added.

The next step will be for the Washington Board of Health to consider the group’s recommendation at its April 13 meeting. The board may or may not approve the technical advisory group’s recommendations.

The Board of Health has been working with the Washington Department of Health to bring the technical advisory group together to talk about requiring the COVID-19 vaccine. In October, board members voted to start the process.

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