Updated Oct 20 to include outcome of the vote
What's happening: After deciding yesterday to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the federal “Vaccines for Children Program,” advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will vote later today on whether to add it to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for children 6 months or older.
What that means for schools: While the CDC cannot enforce these guidelines, state governments across the country refer to them as the basis for requiring children to vaccinate against diseases like hepatitis B and influenza in order to attend public schools. Adding the vaccine would likely lead to school mandates.
Vaccine provider liability: The decision would make the COVID vaccine eligible for protection under the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, meaning vaccine providers like Pfizer and Moderna could be permanently shielded against lawsuits related to the effects of their COVID vaccines. These companies have already had emergency immunity from liability since March 2020.
Big picture: An overwhelming majority of U.S. parents have not had their young children vaccinated amid concerns of side effects such as heart inflammation in teens, which the CDC has acknowledged as real. Children are also least at risk from COVID-19 and least likely to spread it, yet the CDC continues to aggressively promote the vaccine for children against the advice of prominent health organizations.