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AG Derek Schmidt objects to new CDC vaccine guidance regarding COVID shots for children

KANSAS, October 22 - TOPEKA – (October 22, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is objecting to an advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decision this week to include the COVID-19 vaccination on a list that states often rely upon to determine which childhood vaccinations to require, saying votes taken on the matter were premature.

Schmidt joined 13 other state attorneys general in filing a public comment letter with the CDC regarding votes taken by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which voted to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of childhood immunizations. Also under consideration is whether to include the COVID-19 vaccine in the Vaccine for Children Program (VFC). The program, created by Congress, provides vaccines for low-income children against polio, measles, mumps and rotavirus. The ACIP votes were taken prior to the close of the public comment period on the proposed CDC requirement.

“The first rule of medicine is to do no harm. But these actions cause a great deal of harm,” the attorneys general wrote. "Putting the COVID-19 vaccine on the list of vaccines for children could … undoubtedly accelerate a rejection by many American families of more traditional vaccinations due to the CDC’s increasingly sullied credibility. There is still much we do not know about the virus, its origins, and, importantly, the vaccines. And there is widespread disagreement as to whether kids need to be vaccinated.”

Schmidt and the other attorneys general said that taking such an action could deny parents the freedom to determine whether to subject their children to the vaccine that is still subject to emergency use authorization not full FDA approval.

"States have traditionally relied heavily on these lists to inform their vaccination policies," the attorneys general wrote. "As a result, in many states, your decision is unnecessary and subjects children to retaliation for their parent or guardian’s decisions to decline this vaccination."

Schmidt has been active in pushing back against the Biden Administration’s mandates issued in response to the pandemic. Schmidt has obtained a permanent injunction against a vaccine and mask mandate for all staff, volunteers and children participating in the federal Head Start program He has also obtained federal court injunctions blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine mandate for private employers and the federal contractor vaccine mandate.

A copy of the letter to the CDC is available at https://bit.ly/3So99AP.