As this is being written, the Health and Welfare Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives is holding a hearing on a contentious subject – namely, the decision by Gov. John Bel Edwards to attempt to include COVID vaccination in the list of required vaccinations at the state’s schools.
The Health And Welfare Committee is gathering on Monday at the Louisiana State Capitol.
The main order of business at the committee meeting is as follows:
“In accordance with R.S. 49:968(D)(2), oversight hearing on the administrative rule proposed by the Louisiana Department of Health to amend the state immunization schedule provided for in LAC 51:II.701 to add COVID-19 vaccines to the list of vaccinations required for school and child day care entry.”
This meeting is taking place after Governor Edwards spoke on Friday about the possibility of requiring students in K-12 and higher education to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
When asked about backtracking on the addition of the Covid-19 vaccine to the immunization schedule for students in Louisiana, Gov. Edwards said, “I would have to learn something different then I’ve learned to date.”
Edwards followed by saying, “it is certainly my inclination that the vaccine will be added to the schedule that pertains to K-12 schools and higher ed.”
If you’re a regular reader of this site you likely already realize this is a ridiculous case of governmental overreach, that children are of next to zero risk of developing major illness from COVID, that natural immunity acquired by exposure to the virus is stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine immunity and that science has been largely absent from much of anything Edwards has done where COVID policy is concerned.
The question then, is what can be done to stop him before Louisiana commits full bore to giving the jab to hundreds of thousands of school kids, well in advance of our knowledge about what side effects – myocarditis or other ugly surprises – are in store. We believe the vaccine is generally safe, but our basic knowledge of virology tells us that when there is no particular risk of serious harm in the disease itself there is no particular benefit from a vaccine that would offset the risk of its side effects.
And particularly with this Omicron variant spreading across the world, which is very much a natural COVID vaccine. Its symptoms are documented as no more than a cold and it’s the most infectious strain of the COVID virus yet – meaning that as time goes by Omicron will become the dominant strain of the virus and it will create the herd immunity we need to finally get past COVID.
An intelligent state health regime would be embracing Omicron and opening everything up – and more, restricting its attempts to vaccinate to only those people with serious co-morbidities at major risk from COVID. For everything else, intelligent policy would be to expose the population to the weakest possible strain of the virus so as to get this whole disaster over with.
We’d love it if that was the position of the Louisiana Legislature as outlined in the Health and Welfare Committee, which has veto power over changes to state administrative rules like this one.
House Speaker Clay Schexnayder spoke at the opening of the committee hearing and urged it to exercise that veto. Attorney General Jeff Landry said Edwards’ vaccine demands would make the state the most radical in the country, even worse than California.
But Schexnayder made some changes to Health and Welfare in the fall, and the new committee isn’t exactly reliably conservative.
It has nine Republicans, eight Democrats and an independent (Roy Daryl Adams). Some of the Republicans are anything but reliable – like Joe Stagni,
Hopefully that won’t matter. But we’re not optimistic. We’ve yet to see the House, much less the Senate, stand up effectively to Edwards. Until he’s gone we don’t see the Legislature pulling him off our schoolkids.