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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.

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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