Now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, expect a wave of Covid-19 vaccine mandates for children. San Francisco announced last week that the city will require children in that age group to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, sporting events, swimming pools and more. New York’s School of American Ballet informed parents via email on Nov. 4 that all students—the school enrolls children as young as 6—must receive a Covid vaccine by January.
While parents may choose to vaccinate their own children, these mandates are unethical and unlawful. Advocates of mandating Covid vaccines equate them with standard childhood shots against polio, chickenpox, TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella). But those decades-old vaccines have gone through the full FDA testing regime. The Covid vaccine has received only emergency-use authorization for this age group, meaning its safety and efficacy have not yet been established to the FDA’s satisfaction.