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  • Writer's pictureCenter for Local Policy Analysis (CLPA)

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Students and Childcare workers (DC Council)

Today, the DC Council held a public hearing on B24-0423, the Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021. This bill, if enacted, requires all eligible school students and employees of licensed child development facilities in the District of Columbia to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with an allowable religious or medical exemption.

The legislation also would allow physicians to directly submit certification of immunization electronically to the DC immunization database. The authority to do this would start with the COVID-19 vaccine and expand to all required immunizations at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. This would, in theory, streamline this annual reporting requirement by utilizing modern technology and reduce stress on both families and students.

The bill memo notes the importance of vaccinating workers. In September, 184 District of Columbia Public Schools personnel tested positive for COVID-19, and 182 were quarantined. There were infections in the student population, with 506 students testing positive and 633 in quarantine.

Mayor Bowser issued an Order that included a provision to require the vaccination of employees of childcare facilities in the District of Columbia to reduce exposure of students and children not currently eligible for a vaccine. B24-0423 would provide additional legal support for that provision via an annual staff vaccination certification requirement. There is already precedent for this as the District currently requires all childcare workers to receive an annual physical and tuberculosis (TB) test as a condition of employment. This bill would expand upon those requirements.

For information or questions about this bill, please contact the bill's primary sponsors Councilmembers Henderson, Allen, Cheh, Nadeau, Silverman, and Lewis George.



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