First lady Jill Biden will kick off on Monday the administration’s push to encourage parents to vaccinate their children for COVID-19 by visiting an elementary school that played a historic role during the polio epidemic.
The Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, was the first school to administer the polio vaccine in 1954.
Biden, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, will be introduced by sixth-grader Everett Munson who studied the history of the polio vaccine and his school in one of his classes. He will have just been vaccinated.
Biden plans to visit pediatric vaccination clinics across the county over the coming weeks, now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 through 11.
The administration is asking schools to stand up vaccination clinics on-site, or in dedicated sites in their communities.
School leaders are also encouraged to provide outreach about the vaccinations to families and to partner with local pediatricians to host community conversations to answer parents’ questions.
In a letter to school superintendents and elementary school principals, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra note that parents are approximately twice as likely to get their child vaccinated if their school provides information about the vaccine, according to Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
“We urge you,” they wrote, “to do all you can to help parents and families learn about the vaccine and get access to it.”
— Maureen Groppe
Also in the news:
►Vermont’s COVID-19 cases have surged since the summer. The state is now averaging 283 cases a day, compared to less than ten a day in July.
►Children ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and cities like New York City and Chicago are incentivizing kids to get vaccinated.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 46 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 754,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 249 million cases and 5 million deaths. More than 193 million Americans — 58.4% of the population — are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: Aaron Rodgers has a lot of pull. Will fans be swayed by the quarterback’s anti-vaccine stance?
Biden’s vaccine mandates face the first test with federal workers
President Joe Biden is pushing forward with a massive plan to require millions of private sector employees to get vaccinated by early next year. But first, he has to make sure workers in his own federal government get the shot.
About 4 million federal workers are to be vaccinated by Nov. 22 under the president’s executive order. Some employees, like those at the White House, are nearly all vaccinated. But the rates are lower at other federal agencies, particularly those related to law enforcement and intelligence, according to the agencies and union leaders. And some resistant workers are digging in, filing lawsuits and protesting what they say is unfair overreach by the White House.
The upcoming deadline is the first test of Biden’s push to compel people to get vaccinated. Beyond the federal worker rule, another mandate will take effect in January aimed at around 84 million private sector workers, according to guidelines put out this past week.
On Saturday, a federal appeals court in Louisiana temporarily halted the vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers. The administration says it is confident that the requirement will withstand legal challenges in part because its safety rules preempt state laws.
— Associated Press
Contributing: The Associated Press