Group rallies against vaccine mandates for kids following court setback

Local

SAN DIEGO — Parents and students joined an advocacy group Monday at Balboa Park to show their opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for kids.

The rally, organized by “Let Them Choose,” started at 8 a.m. at the Orange Pavilion. Organizers said the event was part of a statewide “Sit Out Day” with speakers and educational resources on site until 11 a.m. Attendees said they’re not anti-vaccine but against mandates requiring them.

A San Diego County 6th grader was at the rally with his mother and shared how the mask mandate has affected him.

“I feel like kind of interrupted by all of this, and the way that I’m living was kind of like affected by all the mandates and the mask stuff,” Hazen Jordan said.

Hazen’s mom Karen Jordan said they want to decide for themselves what’s right for their child.

“I’m definitely not against anything. We’re pro-choice. It is not a one size fits all, so what we believe in is making the right choice based on your own situation with your own doctor,” she said. “You take into account your own health and you make that determination as a family with people that you trust. It’s not something that can just be carte blanche mandated on all people.”

Monday’s rally came after a San Diego County judge dismissed a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials challenging California’s school mask mandate. Although the ruling was not in favor of the “Let Them Breathe” movement, founder Sharon McKeeman said they’re still moving forward with legal action.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for kids 12 and up and a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 5 to 11. Both were found to be safe and effective in protecting children from COVID-19 in clinical trials.

San Diego Unified is requiring students 16 and older to be fully vaccinated at the start of the new semester if they want to continue learning in-person. The school district said while students ages 5-15 are recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, San Diego Unified is not requiring vaccination for the age group at this time.

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