“We have to protect these children,” said one woman. “There are no long-term studies. We don’t know what’s going to happen.
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Parents feared their children would be vaccinated against COVID-19 without parental consent, which the Orange County Health Care Agency has repeatedly assured residents will not occur.
But, after hundreds of parents spoke out in the last two council meetings, the council decided to make a bold move – vote four to one in favor of a statement denouncing any efforts to reduce parental authority. .
“The council stands with residents of Orange County against mandatory vaccinations, especially of school-aged children,” the council said in a statement. “Schools are meant to instill facts and knowledge, not to advance immunization mandates for children who have minimal exposure to the COVID-19 pathogen.”
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But Dr Andrew Noymer called the council’s statement redundant and said it was not a policy document, but rather a statement of principles.
“Children cannot be vaccinated without their parents’ consent,” he said. “That will not change, even once vaccines are authorized for minors, for adolescents.”
A spokesperson for the CO’s education department said he hoped the board vote would allay parents’ concerns about vaccinations.
“Legally, they cannot be required,” spokesman Ian Hanigan said. “So right now, in addition to trying to tackle a pandemic and its aftermath, we’re also fighting a lot of misinformation.”
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Parents said they understood the board had not set the policy, but were happy to have some assurance in writing.