COVID-19 shots should be added to both the childhood and adult vaccination schedules for 2023, according to an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday unanimously voted to add the coronavirus vaccine to next year’s list, which also includes shots for the flu, measles, polio, as well as mumps and rubella, among others.
The committee meets on an annual basis to review and update the schedule to provide doctors better guidance on which shots should be prioritized and administered, particularly in regards to children.
The decision to officially update the inoculation list now lies with the CDC. The agency is expected to sign off on the recommendation, though it is not required to do so. Officials have also emphasized that should the agency opt to formally adopt the policy, it will not equate to a vaccine mandate.
The CDC does not have the authority to mandate vaccines. Neither states nor schools need to adopt the recommendation, contrary to claims made on social media and television, including by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Carlson expressed concern earlier this week about the panel’s vote. He incorrectly claimed that kids “will not be able to attend school without taking the COVID shot,” prompting pushback from the CDC.
“Moving COVID-19 to the recommended immunization schedule does not impact what vaccines are required for school entrance, if any,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday, per NBC News.
“Local control matters. And we honor that the decision around school entrance for vaccines rests where it did before, which is with the state level, the county level, and at the municipal level if it exists at all.”
“This discussion does not change that,” he added.