Fact Finders: Could the COVID-19 vaccine be required for medical workers or for kids to go to school?

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 6:34 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With Arizona’s first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine expected next week, many are starting to ask if certain people will be required to get the shot? For example, will your child have to get it in order to go to school, or could a medical worker be required?

The KOLD News 13 Fact Finders Team took those vaccine requirement questions to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ.

She says talk about vaccine requirements, for now, is probably looking down the road- quite a ways. However, she says it is something they are already addressing to a certain extent.

First of all, many medical workers are wondering if their job can require them to get vaccinated. Here’s her response.

“We had talked about employers, health care employers, requiring health care employees to get the vaccine in order to be able to work. That’s not going to be a state requirement,” said Dr. Christ.

As for adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required childhood school vaccines, she says that is quite a process. She says it will not be something you will be facing right away. However, she did explain how that process works.

“Normally, what happens is that ACIP makes a recommendation that a vaccine become part of the recommended childhood vaccinations schedule. When they update that schedule every so often ADHS will take a look and see what vaccines that Arizona should consider as required for entry to school.”

That said, even if we did eventually make it a required childhood immunization, she says parents will always have the opportunity to either exempt out of it for philosophical reasons or if they have a medically fragile child.

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