Boston mayor punts student vaccines to feds

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Boston Mayor Kim Janey said it will be for the federal government to decide whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be required for children in Boston public schools once it is “fully licensed,” stating that for now she respects the decisions of parents.

Janey, who is running for mayor, said parents in Boston are making “informed decisions” based on their conversations with their child’s pediatrician.

While public schools require children to be inoculated against diseases such as measles and mumps with established vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines are still only authorized for emergency use.

Asked during a radio interview if the vaccine should be required for students once the emergency use authorization becomes more permanent, the mayor said, “That would be for the federal government to decide.”

Federal health agencies have given emergency use authorization for one COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer, and Moderna has plans to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its shot this month.

The vaccines are also being tested for use in younger children. Gov. Charlie Baker has said he does not support a statewide mandate that all eligible students be vaccinated in order to return to the classroom in the new school year.

“Once it gets approved, we’ll see if the federal government mandates vaccines, but right now it is still up to parents and parents will make the best choices for their kids,” Janey said, during an interview on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio.

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