Concerned citizens in the state of California joined together in launching a union against a new COVID-19 vaccination program in the state that targets children under the age of 18.
The Unity Project, a coalition of concerned parents, business leaders, teachers, and other professionals across the state, started the union in opposition to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to enforce the COVID-19 vaccination mandate on K–12 trainees in the state, the coalition said in a Nov. 12 statement.
“The forced vaccination mandate flies in the face of the broad scientific evidence base surrounding the risk/benefit of this vaccine for healthy children 18 years and under,” Laura Sextro, the union’s chief executive officer, said.
“It also defies common sense and fundamental parental rights,” she said in dispute to the governor’s program. “Opposition to this egregious overreach by Governor Newsom is widespread throughout California and The Unity Project is harnessing the broad outrage and enormous parental engagement this policy has evoked statewide to stop it.”
California became the first state in the nation to announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements for K–12 schools in October, when the pediatric vaccines were still pending a recommendation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Newsom also announced a new vaccination program earlier this month that targets children aged 5 to 11. The governor’s plan was announced one day after the CDC approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group.
Federal drug regulators have already approved the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 16 and older, meaning all upper-class high school students will need to be fully vaccinated to attend both public and private schools.
The Unity Project says they stand in opposition to the government in California forcing healthy children to take COVID-19 vaccines despite them being at low risk from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“Forcing children as young as five-years-old to effectively become human shields, assuming vaccine-injury-risk despite having statistically zero risk of COVID-19 to those who are healthy, just so adults with comorbidities can feel safer—what kind of a society does that? At no time in history have we put children in harm’s way to protect adults,” the union argued.
Newsom’s plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for schoolchildren has received mixed feedback, with thousands of people recently gathering across the state in disagreement with the mandates.
Last week, hundreds of people gathered at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to protest the mandates. The Nov. 11 protest was one of many that are being held throughout the month of November as part of the Nationwide Walkout.
During that same week, the governing board of the Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) decided in a 5–0 vote during a Nov. 9 meeting it will not be enforcing the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for K–12 schools. CUSD serves about 5,300 students and includes five elementary schools, one middle school, and Calaveras County’s only two public high schools.
Others, including the University of California Health, applauded the CDC’s recommendation of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
“The expansion of vaccination against COVID-19 to approximately 28 million children aged 5-11 years across the nation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a significant step forward in the fight against the pandemic,” it said in a press release.
Cynthia Cai and GQ Pan contributed to this report.