Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday it isn’t his call if students should get the vaccine and that the decision should be left up to parents, according to reports.
Sanders was asked whether he is in favor of incentivizing teenagers to get the coronavirus vaccine and did not answer, according to WCAX. Sanders, however, said he doesn’t support requiring students to get the jab.
“It’s not my job to tell parents or kids to get vaccinated,” Sanders said, according to WCAX. “What we want to do is make sure that it is safe, and I think the evidence seems to suggest that it will be safe.”
Sanders received the coronavirus vaccine in December after getting the green light from his physician, according to Vermont Biz.
“Following the advice of the Office of the Attending Physician, today I received the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. As the vaccine is distributed, we must all continue wearing masks and engage in social distancing. That is how we will beat this virus and end this terrible pandemic.”
Talk of mandating the vaccine has become popular, with some universities requiring students to get the vaccine before returning to campus. Rutgers University in New Jersey is mandating students who enrolled for the fall 2021 semester must be vaccinated unless they are taking classes complexity online.
Legal questions regarding whether the vaccine can be mandated with only Emergency Use Authorization is still unclear. (RELATED: CEO Of United Airlines Calls For Companies To Mandate COVID Vaccine)
“While organizations are certainly free to encourage their employees, students, and other members to be vaccinated, federal law provides that, at least until the vaccine is licensed, individuals must have the option to accept or decline to be vaccinated,” wrote Aaron Siri, managing partner at civil litigation firm Siri & Glimstad LLP.
The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act says individuals have to be informed “of the option to accept or refuse administration of the produce” when a product with Emergency Use Authorization is administered.
“Early in this vaccination phase, individuals will have to be consented and they won’t be able to be mandatory,” Cohn said in August.