Headline RoundupOctober 25th, 2022

Will COVID-19 Vaccines Be 'Required' Going Forward?

AllSides Summary

Whether COVID-19 vaccines will be "required" going forward is decided by states and local jurisdictions, not federal authorities. But recent remarks from media personalities, federal health advisors, and President Joe Biden have fueled confusion.

For Context: Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisers recommended that the agency add the vaccine to the recommended immunization schedule for everyone ages 6 months and older.

Key Quotes: Tucker Carlson (Right bias) tweeted that the CDC would soon "make the vax mandatory for kids to attend school." And while getting his next COVID-19 booster shot on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that "for most Americans," a COVID-19 shot "once a year is going to be required," but he didn't clarify further. Both comments are misleading.

Where People Agree: Many news sources from left to right highlighted the distinction that states decide on vaccine requirements, rather than the federal government.

Where People Disagree: One writer for Reason (Lean Right bias) said it would be a "mistake" for the CDC to recommend yearly COVID-19 shots, and argued that though that wouldn't mandate the shots nationally, "many municipalities will be inclined to require whatever the CDC recommends." Some left-rated sources focused more on calling out Carlson for misinformation, with one writer for Washington Post (Lean Left bias) arguing that his comment shows how vaccine critics may encourage "lower vaccination rates, fading trust in federal health officials and other consequences for public health."

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