BOSTON (SHNS) – Gubernatorial candidate Danielle Allen called Thursday for elected officials to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all public school students ages 12 and older, urging Beacon Hill to weave the requirement into existing school vaccination requirements.
Allen, a Harvard professor vying to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2022, urged both Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and the Democrat-supermajority Legislature to implement a student vaccine mandate and prepare for a broader pediatric COVID-19 vaccine rollout once federal regulators clear the shots for use in children younger than 12.
“It is now time for the Commonwealth to incorporate COVID vaccination requirements for students into our existing state laws for school vaccination,” Allen said in a statement. “Establishing COVID vaccination requirements for our children 12 and up will not only help fortify our schools against potential COVID disruptions, but also help address the fear and uncertainty of hundreds of thousands of students, parents, and educational staff as we continue to navigate this pandemic.”
The Baker administration will require K-12 students to wear masks in schools through at least Oct. 1, but so far has not publicly weighed in on a vaccine mandate for students. Last week, Baker said he believes that decisions about mandating vaccines for school staff “really does belong to the local level” under state law and collective bargaining agreements.