Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Regulations for the Immunization of School Children [12 VAC 5 ‑ 110]
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10/17/21  11:22 pm
Commenter: Curt K

Arguments for Rejection of the Proposed Rule

The proposal under consideration should be rejected. The two groups that will be most impacted are teachers and students.  In both cases the harm done by mandatory vaccination outweigh the psychological and perceived minimal physical advantages.

For teachers, the Commonwealth should fully respect religious and medical reasonable accommodations for vaccines that have a long history of testing and outcome benefits, such as chicken pox vaccination.  This is even more important for fast tracked vaccines that are experimental with extremely limited testing and no independent research on efficacy and long-term health impacts.  An individual’s determination for vaccination should remain in the individual’s hands, for it is the individual that is at greatest risk without vaccination, and that individual needs to weigh those risk with the risk of taking the vaccine.  In addition, our teachers should not be put under duress to take a drug under a threat of termination when they have sacrificed and worked under increasing trying conditions.  Even if a mandate were necessary, it should be made through the legislature of the people and not by this regulatory body. This pandemic has been going on for over a year, and there is no highly exigent circumstance to justify such a rule.

For student, they are the most vulnerable to long-term impacts of the experimental vaccine because their bodies continue to develop, and they will have to endure the longest the unforeseen impacts throughout their long lives.  They are also the most resilient and resistant to COVID.  Our Virginia children should not be guinea pigs to emergency use vaccines, cleared under extremely unusual and fast-tracked clearance processes without sufficient oversight and safety protocols. Further, it is up to the parents ? not the state ? the parents are the ones best positioned and have the responsibility to determine the well bringing of their children.

In both cases the COVID vaccination is not a cure, nor will vaccination end the pandemic.  They do not guarantee freedom from illness. Even in circumstances of the annual flu and high vaccinations, individuals get infected and die.  We are seeing this occur in highly vaccinated countries, where COVID still has high infection rates and death.  Again, this rule will not end the pandemic but has the high probability of making the situation worse due to second-order harm.  Both for teachers’ faith in the institution and families they serve, and for the students, which we seek to protect and nurture.

The proposed mandate simply goes against the foundation of Virginia. I appeal to the first section of the Virginia Bill of Rights that guarantees “[t]hat all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”  In the case of COVID vaccination, it is the right of the individual that is paramount.

CommentID: 116340