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14 Louisiana House Republicans suggest COVID vaccine not necessary for kids 5-11

Louisiana

In this Wednesday, March 24, 2021 image from video provided by Duke Health, Alejandra Gerardo, 9, looks up to her mom, Dr. Susanna Naggie, as she gets the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations during a clinical trial for children at Duke Health in Durham, N.C. In the U.S. and abroad, researchers are beginning to test younger and younger kids, to make sure the shots are safe and work for each age. (Shawn Rocco/Duke Health via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A group of Louisiana House Republicans suggested in a letter sent to State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley Monday that the COVID vaccine is not necessary for children as an advisory panel appears poised to expand the use of the shot to those aged five to eleven.

“The likelihood of children of this age group with no co-morbidities to survive from Covid is 99.9973%,” said the letter signed by 14 Louisiana House Republicans, including three from Northwest Louisiana. “Their immune system is more robust. The number one risk factor for Covid is age.”

Local state Sen. Raymond Crews (R-Dist. 8) and state Representatives Dodie Horton (R-Dist. 9) and Danny McCormick (R-Dist. 1) are among those who signed the letter.

The Louisiana Department of Health has urged parents to get their kids vaccinated since the emergence of the delta variant of the coronavirus, saying it poses the most risk to children because it spreads so easily. The mutated strain has made more children “extremely sick,” according to the LDH. Nine children died from COVID-19 statewide in the delta-driven fourth surge alone, out of a total of 14 since the pandemic began.

A special advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet Tuesday to consider detailed recommendations for administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to younger children. The Food and Drug Administration already cleared the shots, which deliver about one-third of the vaccine given to adults. After CDC advisers make their recommendations, agency director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will give the final order.

The letter was also sent to local district superintendents around the state, noting that a drug under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) cannot be mandated and that it should not be placed on the list of required immunizations for students.

The lawmakers also said they believe parents should be on-site if their children are going to be immunized at a school vaccination event.