Should COVID-19 shots be mandated for students under 17?

Coronavirus Local Impact

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2020, file photo, Pat Moore, with the Chester County, Pa., Health Department, fills a syringe with Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before administering it to emergency medical workers and health care personnel at the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, Pa. Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12. The company released the preliminary findings Tuesday, May 25, 2021, based on testing on more than 3,700 12- to 17-year-olds in the United States. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Attorney General Maura Healey has said state employees who have regular interaction with the public, including State Police and corrections officers, should be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but on Tuesday she said wasn’t sure how she felt about mandating the shot for students returning to school.

Moderna announced Tuesday that it would seek authorization for use of its vaccine by adolescents aged 12 to 17 after determining that it was both safe and effective in younger people. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine is already being administered to the younger cohort. Healey, however, said she wanted to learn and hear more from public health experts and doctors before forming an opinion on mandated student vaccination.

“I don’t know enough to be able to answer that question,” Healey said, during an interview on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio” on Tuesday. Students in public schools are already required to be inoculated against other diseases to enroll in school, but Gov. Charlie Baker has said he does not support requiring the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for returning to school in the fall.

A vaccine is also unlikely to be approved for even younger children before the start of the new school year. 

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