A health official in Montgomery County, Maryland, stated during Tuesday’s county council meeting that one of the motives for implementing a vaccine passport is to increase the vaccination rate among kids aged 5 to 11 years old.
Dr. Earl Stoddard, the director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security, spoke during Tuesday’s county council meeting regarding a proposal to implement a vaccine passport in the county. Stoddard argued that a vaccine passport is the “least harmful” outcome for business because passports are relatively less “draconian” than mitigation measures that were taken in 2020.
Stoddard also stated that mandated vaccine passports would help increase vaccination rates among children over 5 years old.
“That’s why we chose to include the 5- to 11-year-olds because that is an area where we need to see increased uptake of the vaccine,” Stoddard said. “That was a choice that was made to try and encourage vaccinations in that population specifically.”
The vaccine passport proposal in Montgomery County would “require restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and other ‘covered establishments and facilities’ — in a phased-in approach — to require patrons to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor areas,” according to the county council’s resolution.
County council members aim to implement the passport by Jan. 22, wherein one dose of vaccination will be required for individuals aged 12 and up. By Feb. 15, two doses of vaccination will be required for individuals aged 12 and up, and by March 1, proof of two doses will be required for all patrons aged 5 and older.
Experts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made clear during the approval process of the COVID-19 vaccine for kids that they were concerned about vaccine mandates for children. Dr. Cody Meissner, one of the advisers on the panel, said he was “worried” that if the FDA approved the vaccine, states would “mandate administration” for children to attend school.
“And I do not agree with that,” Meissner said. “I think that would be an error at this time until we get more information about the safety.”
Parents and business owners in the Montgomery County area are pushing back against the proposed vaccine passport via the coalition “Revive MoCo.” Montgomery County resident and “Revive MoCo” co-founder Bethany Mandel told the Daily Caller that the coalition has amassed nearly 1,000 members.
The coalition was created in October by Mandel, Margery Smelkinson, an infectious-disease scientist, and Jennifer Reesman, a psychologist, in anticipation of increased COVID-19 mitigation efforts by the county.
The trio pointed to the astounding vaccination figures in Montgomery County as a reason to end mitigation efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 99.9% of eligible residents in Montgomery County received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, in October.
Mandel spoke at the Tuesday county council meeting, informing council members that “Revive MoCo” was gunning for council seats. Mandel said many of the coalition members feel the vaccine passport was the final straw and are now fiscally backing anti-vaccine passport council candidates.
“This is going to be the end of your cushy government, bureaucratic careers…. For those of you who are facing term limits, we’re coming for your seats,” Mandel said. “This resolution is the final straw for a number of businesses, groups, and individuals in this county who have seen you come close to destroying everything they’ve built.”
My testimony at the @MoCoCouncilMD about their proposed vaccine passports. Join us in making change here #ReviveMoCo: https://t.co/HCydcxbjPJ pic.twitter.com/sr5jk1fjcY
— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) January 18, 2022
“They’re willing to put money behind getting a council who won’t try to bankrupt them, and by extension, the county,” Mandel stated. Mandel told the Daily Caller that she will consider running for county council if “no one else will.”