State and local leaders discuss school immunization requirements for COVID-19

Conversations surrounding school immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine are starting to happen at the state level and at a local school district.

The Seattle School Board is considering a resolution to urge the Washington State Board of Health to add a COVID-19 vaccine to the state’s list of required immunizations for school entry, once it’s fully approved by the FDA.

School board members unanimously approved a motion to postpone action until the next legislative meeting, expressing more community engagement is needed.

Many parents are lining up to get eligible children vaccinated now that it’s available to children who are between five and 11-years-old.

"I think that’s a personal decision," said David Cates. "In my opinion everybody should."

"There will be so many people more upset about the mandate than about actually getting it done and it won’t make them vaccinate their kids either," said Lisa Petion.

RELATED: King County, Seattle to roll out COVID-19 vaccine plans for children ages 5-11

FOX 13 News reached out to the Washington State Board of Health and received this response:

"The Board is coordinating with the state Department of Health to begin the process of convening a technical advisory group (TAG) to consider a COVID-19 vaccine against the Board’s criteria and a recommendation made on whether to add it to the state’s list of required immunizations for school entry. The Board anticipates holding a briefing on the progress of organizing a TAG at its January 2022 public meeting."

Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah said the Department of Health is having conversations with the governor and the governor’s office about the next steps, but right now the focus is on encouraging families to vaccinate their children.

"We’re hopeful that we can really get kids vaccinated through that route, but again we are having some of these discussions. We’re behind the scenes really thinking about what are all the different strategies that are going to help protect people across the state," said Dr. Shah.

"We want to keep kids healthy and protected, and I just really want to emphasize it’s really normal for parents to have questions and concerns, or need more information to make a decision about having their kid vaccinated," said Assistant Secretary Michele Roberts of DOH.

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