Parents protest against COVID-19 vaccine school mandate bill at lawmaker's Bronx office
Parents protested a bill Sunday that would require all children to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school.
Demonstrators gathered in front of Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz's office in Kingsbridge.
Dinowitz is sponsoring the bill.
Republican candidate for governor and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino organized the rally. Most of the people who gathered said the same thing, that they're not anti-vaccination, they're just against being forced especially when it comes to their children.
Dinowitz, however, said mandates are nothing new, especially when it comes to vaccines at schools.
"The fact that children have to get the vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, etc. -- that's a mandate. You have to wear your seatbelt in your car. That is a mandate. You're diving on the right side of the car -- mandate," Dinowitz said.
Still, protestors argue there's a big difference between those vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccine ones. They argued that those vaccines have decades of data behind them compared to the ones available for COVID-19.
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"Not only is it too soon, it's completely unwarranted at this point. The numbers, the data, according to the CDC and worldwide, don't support it," Astorino said.
While numbers do show the risk of children having severe symptoms or dying from COVID-19 is low, Dinowitz said it's also about reducing the chances they catch it and then transmit it to older people. Astorino said the risk of children doing that is also low.
"Anyone can get and give COVID-19, even if you're vaccinated. We're seeing that all over the place right now," Astorino said.
"It shouldn't be controversial. We want to save lives. Not everybody wants to save lives," Dinowitz added.
There is still a long way from the bill to potentially become a law.
Dinowitz told News 12 that even if the state legislature was in session right now, he would want to wait to vote on it until the vaccine has full approval for children from the Food and Drug Administration, not just the emergency use authorization that it is currently under.