MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Dozens of parents opposing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate participated in a statewide school walkout by keeping their children at home.
“We are the parents, we're making the decisions, the government is not in charge of our children," said Marialise Lombardo.
Lombardo and other parents gathered in Carmel to discuss options with other like-minded parents. Lombardo said there is a lack of studies which makes it hard to believe that the vaccine is safe to use.
"We were told at the beginning of the pandemic, they were not high risk, they were not super spreaders," she said. "We were told to follow the science. So what science are we falling?
Stephanie, a mother and Marina resident also decided not to send her seventh-grade daughter to school. According to Stephanie, parents have the right to medical and educational freedom. She adds that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate is not different than other required vaccines.
"There's just has not been enough studies," she said. "We don't know long-term effects, we don't know 5 to 10 years down the road. I don't know that the information we do have is actually all the information that's even out there. So until I'm incredibly comfortable, I won't be using my daughter in the trial period.”
However, health experts said the health effects of catching COVID even for kids are far worse than the small number of side effects that you might experience from the vaccine.
"What we find with vaccines, in general, is that if there is a problem, they pop up relatively soon, like within six months, and we have not seen any significant problems with these vaccines," said Dr. Ghilarducci. "So the benefits really do outweigh the risks."
The vaccine mandate for children won't be applied until it is fully authorized by the FDA.