At least seven states prohibit public schools from requiring vaccination or proof of vaccination for students, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Montana, Oklahoma and Utah.
The decision to prevent schools from requiring the coronavirus vaccine is “downright disheartening,” according to Dr. Chris T. Pernell, a public health physician and fellow of the American College of Preventative Medicine.
“We must apply sound and rational public health recommendations and guidelines. Outright banning Covid-19 vaccination is in no one’s best interests,” Pernell told CNN. “When states make this decision, they hamper good and effective public health. “
In addition to coronavirus vaccines, many states are debating the need for masks in schools. However, Pernell said the masks should be worn in schools, calling the coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
“I am masked every day when I go inside this hospital. If you are in a long-term care facility you will be masked. If you are on public transport you will be masked. at a jail or a jail you will be masked, “Pernell said.” So for me I don’t think we should create a different set of circumstances or whatever for schools where you have high traffic areas, where you cannot verify and confirm the vaccination. “
Pernell told CNN that the Delta variant is of concern due to high transmission rates and an increase in hospitalizations. So masks and vaccines can prevent the spread of the variant in schools.
Without vaccinations, Pernell said vaccinated populations would not “return to a semblance of normalcy.”
“This is why our message must remain clear. We have not gone out of the woods. Vigilance must always be our main and primary goal,” said Pernell.