National Education Association to debate whether it will demand vaccinations for all students, staff attending school in-person this fall

The National Education Association on Thursday afternoon was awaiting a debate on whether it will demand vaccinations for all students and staff attending school in-person this fall.

What are the details?

New Business Item 33” for the Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly for the nation’s largest labor union, which runs until Saturday, indicates the NEA “will call for mandatory safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations and testing for all students and staff before returning to face-to-face instruction in the fall, subject to medical exceptions in accordance with existing law, and will widely publicize this position via social media. We will further call for and publicize that safety measures such as social distancing, masking, and proper ventilation be mandatory for all.”

The “Rationale/Background” for the debate reads, “COVID-19 has already killed over 600,000 people. Black and Latinx communities have suffered twice the deaths, and this inequality will deepen as variants spread. The pandemic respects no boundaries. We must fight for a policy that puts human life first.”

In addition, the new business item indicates it “cannot be accomplished with current staff and resources under the proposed Modified 2021-2022 Strategic Plan and Budget. It would cost an additional $260,000.”

What’s the latest regarding kids and COVID-19 vaccines?

The Food and Drug Administration in May authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children and teenagers 12 to 15 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccination for those 12 years of age and older. However, the World Health Organization notes that “children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, so unless they are part of a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions, and health workers.”

In addition, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices held an emergency meeting last week to discuss myocarditis cases among newly vaccinated teens and young adults — and the group concluded there is a “likely association” between vaccinations of young people, particularly males, and myocarditis.

The WHO adds that “more evidence is needed on the use of the different COVID-19 vaccines in children to be able to make general recommendations on vaccinating children against COVID-19.”

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