|For Immediate Release
Date: October 5, 2021
STATEMENT ON THREATS OF VACCINE MANDATE FOR CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA
ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Supervisor Donald P. Wagner today expressed his opposition to Governor Newsom’s threatened vaccine mandate for school-aged children. According to Supervisor Wagner, the mandate is merely “threatened” because the governor legally cannot require it until the vaccine receives full FDA approval for the age group upon which Newsom intends to impose his rule. That has not happened yet, and the timeline for such approvals are still unclear. Press reports suggest the requirement likely will not go into full effect for the current school year.
“Once again in dealing with COVID,” said Wagner, “the governor fails to follow the science. According to him, he will mandate the vaccine at some undetermined future time. But we cannot know today what the science will be at that time. We do not know yet the eventual course of the disease or any variations; we do not know yet about the long-term effects of the vaccines on children; we do not know yet which other treatments may become available before full FDA vaccine approval for children. So, of course, the governor wants mandates for our kids in the face of that uncertainty.”
“But the science is clear,” Wagner continued. “We do know that our children are the population least susceptible to the disease. We do know that our kids are suffering greatly – both short-term and long-term – from the current mishandling of school restrictions by the governor. Rather than get ahead of the science with threatened mandates, we should concentrate on protecting the most vulnerable. Threatening to vaccinate children will not accomplish that.”
“Finally,” Wagner added, “the governor must allow for medical and religious exemptions for any eventual vaccine mandate to protect health and liberty. Parents deserve a say in the medical care of their children. Given the relatively few children affected by COVID and the similarly small numbers of parents likely to opt their children out, the price for allowing opt-outs is mathematically a tiny one to pay for preserving health and parental rights.
“This disease, thankfully, is not like measles, mumps, TB, or some of the other childhood diseases for which vaccines are required. First, those diseases impact children substantially more, and with typically more lasting effects, than does COVID. Second, the medical community has decades of research, testing, and observation concerning those vaccines, more than it does with the effects of COVID and COVID vaccines on children. Under those circumstances, parental decisions for their children must be respected. The governor’s threatened mandate tramples these rights with the promise of barely perceptible public health benefits.”