Biden Admin Asks Teachers To Encourage Vaccination For Young Children

The Biden Administration sent a letter to early childhood educators prompting them to push the COVID vaccine for young children.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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COVID vaccine

For as long as the COVID vaccine has been in existence (which isn’t that long) people have fought over its effectiveness, provision, and requirement. Advocates see it as a way to curb the pandemic, while those opposed see it as a violation of human rights. Now that the vaccine has cleared emergency FDA protocols for use in the youngest age group, the battle is even more contentious, especially now that the Biden administration is seen urging educators to promote the jab to families with little ones.

The Hill reports that on Wednesday, June 29th, officials within the Biden administration released a letter calling on “colleagues” or teachers, to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 now that it has been cleared for use for nearly all children. This letter came just days after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines received FDA emergency clearance authorization for children 5 and under, as long as they are at least six months old. Schools have long been pushing for the COVID vaccine in older students, but given that many feel that younger children are less prone to the severities of the virus, many are vehemently opposed to this finding.

The letter was sent jointly by Xavier Becerra, the Health and Human Services Secretary, and the Department of Education’s secretary Miguel Cardona. Commending early childhood education (ECE) programs and their providers for always putting children’s needs as the utmost concern,  the letter made note that the COVID vaccine was now available for the youngest age group. Because of this, the officials asked ECE teachers and staff to find ways to connect families with healthcare providers, distribute approved information about vaccines, and partner with healthcare providers to establish vaccination clinics at schools or easily accessible facilities nearby. 

To aid in the effort, the letter made note of helpful tools educators could take advantage of. It mentioned tools available on the government-run Health department sites, and also directed them to the American Rescue Plan Act’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund which can help reimburse the costs of hosting COVID vaccine clinics. The vaccine itself is free of cost to families and schools. 

While this effort mirrors similar endeavors made by the feds and education officials over the past year to get more students and school staff protected with the COVID vaccine, not everyone is happy about these endeavors. Some of this is because Americans are hesitant to get the jab because of how quickly it was approved, feeling that no experimental drug should be mandated, especially considering some possible side effects. Also, the rhetoric isn’t necessarily against vaccines themselves, but specifically this one. Mandatory vaccines for schoolchildren like those fighting against measles, mumps, and rubella have been around for decades, while the COVID vaccine has existed for just a little over a year.

COVID vaccine

Still, countless health and government officials swear that the COVID vaccine is safe and effective, as more than 12 billion doses have been administered globally. Adverse effects from the vaccine are reportedly extremely rare. Therefore, many feel that the push to vaccinate the entire population, and once and for all move on from the horrors of the past few years is a small price to pay for a so-called return to normalcy. For now, though, the decision to vaccinate children ultimately remains the choice of parents.