Amherst Board of Health approves COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students

AMHERST, Mass. — The Amherst Board of Health approved a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all eligible public school students in town. Thursday’s unanimous decision adds FDA-approved vaccines to the list of required vaccinations for students, according to a tweet from Michael Morris, the superintendent of Amherst-Pelham Regional School District.

Pfizer’s vaccine has received full FDA approval for use in children aged 16 and older. Exemptions include students with medical conditions or religious reasons. The school committee will discuss the mandate on Sept. 23.

While a mandate hasn’t been implemented in her family’s town, Dedham mother Jennifer McGrew said she would support one.

“Our daughter is already vaccinated,” McGrew said. “And we think that a broad vaccination program across the school system would benefit everyone based on the science and the numbers.”

Other parents told Boston 25 News they are all for the vaccine but do not believe it should be required.

“My children are vaccinated, but I still think it’s important to give a choice to families,” said Anne Farricy. “It’s finally approved by the FDA, which is great. But I do think that it’s new and people might need time to kind of see what happens.”

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