+
Health

No, the CDC did not mandate kids get the COVID-19 vaccine to go to school

Loads of misinformation keeps floating around about COVID-19 vaccines.

vaccines covid-19 immunization cdc
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

States set immunization requirements for school entry, not the CDC.

It's hard to log onto social media these days without being hit with a firehose of misinformation, especially when it comes to COVID-19. Getting accurate information during a global pandemic with a novel virus that keeps mutating is a challenge, and people's (sometimes understandable) distrust of the government, the media and various institutions certainly doesn't help.

But that doesn't mean there's no such thing as accurate information. A lot of what's floating around out there about COVID-19 is simply and verifiably wrong. As Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said, “It just isn’t enough for us to be in the business of putting out good information. We have to now also be in the business of countering misinformation and deliberate disinformation as well."

Unfortunately, studies of Facebook and Twitter have found that misinformation and disinformation spread faster and are more likely to be shared than true information. So, let's sort through some of the myths and facts about one of the biggest topics out there right now—COVID-19 vaccines and children.

Myth: The CDC is adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the mandated vaccine schedule for kids who attend school.


Fact: The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended updating the 2023 childhood and adult immunization schedules to include additional information for approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines. That is not the same as adding the vaccine to school vaccine requirements. The immunization schedule is a best practice recommendation, not a requirement.

In fact, the CDC can't require kids to get vaccines. State and local jurisdictions decide what vaccines are required for school entry, not the CDC. States do look to the CDC's recommendation for guidance in making decisions, but just because a vaccine is recommended by the CDC doesn't mean schools will automatically require it. (For example, flu shots aren't required for most schools even though they're recommended by the CDC for school-aged children. And the HPV vaccine has been on the CDC's recommended schedule since 2006, yet only four states require it for school.)

Myth: The CDC added the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccines for Children program, which means kids will have to get it.

Fact: The ACIP unanimously voted to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the Vaccines for Children program, but that doesn't mean it's required. Vaccines for Children is a program that provides free vaccines to kids from low-income and uninsured families. Adding the COVID-19 vaccine just means it's included in that free program so more parents who want their kids to get it will be able to.

Myth: The COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous and kids are dying from it.

Fact: No, they're not. Let's look at the specific claims on this front.

First, the myocarditis question. Let's go to the experts at the American Heart Association for that one. According to its website, the most recent studies have shown that the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine is low and the risk from myocarditis is very low (all cases were considered mild and all recovered). But most importantly, studies have shown that the risk of myocarditis from COVID-19 infection is higher than it is from the vaccine.

If parents are concerned about the risks of myocarditis from the vaccine, they hopefully have even more concern about the risks of it from COVID-19 itself, since we know that COVID-19 can damage the heart.

Second, the "young people are dying suddenly at an alarming rate" claim. There are multiple ways in which this rumor has spread multiple times, so it's hard to tackle all of them at once. But if you've heard that vaccines are causing SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, which some have erroneously referred to as "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome"), read this fact check and the accompanying links. Also, note the fact that the SADS Foundation—an organization literally dedicated to this syndrome—recommends everyone with conditions linked to SADS get the COVID-19 vaccine.

People don't need to trust the government or the media to not fall for misinformation and disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. The most telling thing to me is that every reputable medical organization and association in the U.S. that I've checked recommends the COVID-19 vaccine. Every single one.

In fact, in July, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians issued a joint letter urging families to get the vaccine for kids ages 6 months and up. These organizations are not the government or the media or the pharmaceutical companies. They are the nation's top experts on medical care for families. They're the ones we should be looking to for guidance on medical decisions, not politicians, social media influencers or cable news hosts.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's finds include an adorable baby's first 'Dada,' an appreciative delivery driver, an angel rocking out to 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' and more.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Ho ho ho, happy humans!

It's that time of the week again, when we gather together the most smile-worthy tidbits of the past seven days and share them with you all. As the lucky person who gets to wrap them up in a nice, shiny, virtual bow, I'm delighted to tell you that this week's list is awesome. They always are—that's kind of the point—but this week I can practically guarantee you're going to be brimming with joy by the end.

Right out of the gate, we've got baby giggles. I mean, come on. Who can resist baby giggles?

Keep ReadingShow less

Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Moms don't have to be hard to shop for. Here are gifts she'll love.

True

Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

Keep ReadingShow less