McMorris Rodgers to Governor Inslee: The Decision for COVID-19 Vaccines is For Parents to Make

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today warned Governor Inslee to not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for children following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vote to add COVID-19 vaccinations to the recommended schedule of vaccines for both adults and children. 

In a letter to Governor Inslee today, Cathy wrote:

I write to ask that you do not mandate COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children and leave that decision to parents and their pediatricians.

“Existing law in Washington State cites the ACIP recommendations from 2019, and if that date was simply updated to 2022, families across the State may be forced to choose between either sending their children to public school or making the best decision for their health. CDC has made clear that the recommendations are not indicative of a support of a mandate on all children, and that decision is left to States. However, throughout the pandemic you have repeatedly used CDC guidance as justification for heavy-handed mandates that kept children out of school and masked them when they were finally allowed to go back. I am concerned that you will use the CDC’s latest action to continue your record of harmful government mandates on our children and strip parents of their rights.  

“There is no consensus in the medical community that the COVID-19 vaccines should be given to healthy children, especially under the age of 11. Sweden decided against recommending COVID vaccines for healthy children aged 5 to 11, with their lead health agency stating, “we don’t see any clear benefit to vaccinating them. In addition, many physicians have stated that it is more important to provide the vaccine globally to those over 65 than use those doses on healthy children in the U.S.

“The State of Washington had the longest public health emergency due to COVID-19 in the country. It was the 47th State to reopen schools, which has led to learning loss and devastating mental health consequences that could last a lifetime. Now that schools are finally open for in-person learning, children are starting to regain a sense of normalcy. I urge you not to throw that in question by doubling down with a heavy-handed mandate, forcing healthy children to take COVID-19 vaccines.”  

In a statement regarding the CDC’s recommendation, Cathy also said the CDC must be more transparent and rebuild trust with parents:

“Rather than work to rebuild the trust it has eroded with the American people, this is another example of the CDC issuing COVID-19 recommendations without being transparent with their data and the science. Like we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, these actions could be used by state governments to undermine a parent’s right to make the best decisions for their children. The CDC owes parents answers as to why its recommended vaccine schedule for COVID-19 is out of step with other countries who have said there is ‘no clear benefit’ to vaccinating young children. Today, I’m urging governors, like Jay Inslee in Washington state, to put parents first and resist the temptation to again abuse their power to issue unscientific, heavy-handed mandates that don’t fully take a child’s overall well-being into account. Our kids have suffered enough from government-enforced school closures and mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

NOTE: This letter comes after Cathy continuously pushed back on Governor Inslee for his relentless mask mandates on children and government-enforced school closures during the pandemic resulting in plummeting test scores and contributing to the mental health crisis.

CLICK HERE to read the letter. 


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