The CDC has officially taken the recommendation of its vaccine panel and added a triple dose of the COVID shot to its list of recommended vaccinations for American kids, toddlers, and babies - a list used by many public school systems to determine which shots a child must have in order to start school.
Per the updated guidelines, healthy kids 6 months old and up should receive a two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech monovalent COVID-19 vaccine followed by a bivalent vaccine or booster.
While the agency’s list of recommended jabs doesn’t actually require anyone to get all - or even any - of the shots on it, the update is concerning for many parents worried that their local school district will start requiring the COVID vaccine for their preschoolers to be enrolled in public schools, which oftentimes use the CDC's recommended shot list as their own default requirements. In some districts, those vaccine requirements even extend to private schools, further limiting the options for families who decline.
Related: DC Extends Student Vax Deadline After Data Showed Half the City's Black Kids Are Unjabbed
And with some locales seeking to end religious or personal exemptions for parents who want to decline certain vaccines for their kids, that worry is only worsening.
According to this, as of last fall, less than 4% of U.S. kids ages 6 months to 4 years and only about a third of those 5-11 had gotten even a single dose of the COVID jabs, reflecting an across-the-board hesitancy in parents to immunize their kids against a virus that largely doesn’t threaten children and appears to carry significant health risks, including potentially fatal heart problems, for some young people. Most parents who've been polled said they were worried about adverse reactions in a shot series that is still relatively new - valid concerns the CDC apparently doesn't care much about.
Only time will tell if school systems do.