Could the COVID-19 vaccine be required for school-age kids?

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The White Houses’ chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said he supports vaccine mandates for school-age kids as the coronavirus continues to fuel a surge in cases. Could Utah implement a vaccine mandate for K-12 students?

To go to school, the state of Utah requires students to get several different shots to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases. But as of Monday, state epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen said a vaccine mandate for kids isn’t something she sees being required right now.

“I know people in Utah don’t appreciate mandates. So, we certainly are going to take it very hesitantly to make sure everybody’s on board before we force anything through,” she said.

While the shot is not being mandated in Utah schools, Dr. Nolen said she supports kids getting the shot.

“Certainly, vaccines are the best prevention and the safest thing to do right now,” she said.

The Utah Department of Health reports more than 151,000 12-to-18-year-olds are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

However, Dr. Nolen said efforts to move the needle continue.

“We’re doing a lot of different vaccines sites on schools, or where people just go naturally, to try and get that to happen as much as possible,” she said.

Monday, UDOH reports more than 700 students have test positive for the coronavirus.

“That’s what’s happening is we have this really contagious virus around now and we are opening up schools, and we don’t have masks in schools this year, and so things are just spreading really easily,” she said.

If people do not change their current behaviors, Dr. Nolen said state models predict cases will continue to climb into late fall and early winter.

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