Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

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This story was originally published by the Newsmakers with Jerry Roberts and is reproduced here in partnership with Edhat.


By Kate Ford and Laura Capps

As members of the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) board, we understand that our paramount responsibility is to ensure the health and well-being of our students. Incorporating all we’ve learned about Covid-19, we are determined to open schools safely for all staff and students on August 17. Sadly, our community is still in a health emergency that requires us to further safeguard students and staff against the risks of infection, illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus.

It is now our responsibility to ensure that we do all that we can to prevent Covid-19 in our schools, while keeping our classroom doors open and providing an environment where all children can thrive – especially the most vulnerable - and our staff can be protected from disease. Our students, teachers and staff deserve healthy and safe schools.

Since January of last year, at least 1 in 12 people who live in Santa Barbara County have been infected, and at least 1 in 952 people have died. As elected officials, we must do our part to do whatever we can to put a halt to these disturbing numbers.

As history demonstrates, we know we can do it. Polio was once the most feared disease in the U.S., causing 15,000 cases of paralysis and disabling 35,000 people each year. In 1979, polio was eradicated, not by herd immunity, but by a successful vaccination mandate.

Alarming numbers

We are alarmed at the high percentage of unvaccinated people in our county, despite the efforts of so many. Given that the new Delta variant is highly transmissible to adults and children, we are grateful that the vaccines are extremely effective and safe and will receive full authorization from the FDA soon.

The SBUSD staff has worked hard with County Public Health, Cottage, Sansum and the Neighborhood Clinics to provide students and staff access to vaccinations. And nearly 65% of SBUSD teachers and staff have told us they are vaccinated, confirmed either by self-reporting or by confidentially showing proof of vaccination card to our nurses.

But that percentage is far from where we should be – especially for staff members who are interacting with young children who can’t yet be vaccinated. Full vaccination provides the safety our schools need.

As board members, we took an oath to do everything possible to protect SBUSD students and school staff.

Therefore, we are advocating for a requirement for all employees of Santa Barbara Unified to be fully vaccinated and/or tested at least every week for Covid-19. Implementing this policy will likely save lives.

A special meeting

The SBUSD school board will hold a special meeting at 2 p,m. on Thursday, August 5, to act on this new vaccine requirement to take effect immediately. We look forward to continuing our partnership with our city and county leaders as we take this critical next step.

Our kids have lost too much already; we owe it to them and our school staff to beat back this pandemic once and for all.

SB School Board President Kate Ford, was elected in 2018. Immediate past president Laura Capps joined the board in 2017.

(The agenda for the special August 5 board meeting is on the SBUSD web site here).


Op-Ed's are written by community members. Do you have an opinion on something local? Share it with us at [email protected]. The views and opinions expressed in Op-Ed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of edhat.

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95 Comments

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SBLetsGetAlong Aug 07, 2021 07:21 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

335 children under 18 have died with a Covid diagnosis according to the CDC
Out of 75,000,000 children.

Capps, Ford show us the written scientific data you are using as numerous parents have requested multiple times. Document your decisions.
Show the people you’re using science & data

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cdc-covid-19-coronavirus-vaccine-side-effects-hospitalization-kids-11626706868?st=bleb9aaed29fefn&reflink=article_copyURL_share

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 06, 2021 06:50 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

“ three-quarters of cases occurred in fully vaccinated people. Massachusetts has a high rate of vaccination: about 69% among eligible adults in the state at the time of the study.

It also found no significant difference in the viral load present in the breakthrough infections occurring in fully vaccinated people and the other cases, suggesting the viral load of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with the coronavirus is similar.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/30/1022867219/cdc-study-provincetown-delta-vaccinated-breakthrough-mask-guidance

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 05, 2021 05:28 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Guess they do t trust the vaccine to protect them?
The majority of people are vaxed. The unvaxed are not a danger to the vaxed.
Yet they are in fear of the unvaxed.

Why?

KevinSB Aug 06, 2021 11:37 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Very authoritarian of you. You’re giving the CDC carte Blanche to take the reins? You think they should be promulgating eviction moratoriums when there are 9 million job vacancies and the Supreme Court ruled it illegal?

Rinconer Aug 05, 2021 09:04 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

What do the experts say?
Kary Mullis, Inventor of the PCR test and Nobel Prize winner said this,
“What ABC needs to do,” says Mullis, “is talk to [Chairman of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony] Fauci and [Dr. Robert] Gallo [one of the discoverers of HIV] and show that they’re assholes, which I could do in ten minutes.”

What does the inventor of the MRNA vaccine,
Dr. Robert Malone say? Good luck finding quotes, he has been censored on Facebook, YouTube & Twitter.

a-1628180920 Aug 05, 2021 09:28 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

This quote is especially fun because it's entirely ambiguous who "they" are, you can interpret it however you want, who knows what the intent is. Would be a good SAT question.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 05, 2021 08:05 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Vaccinated people are getting Covid & passing along full viral loads to unsuspecting vaccinated & unvaccinated people.

If you’re going to require testing. Everyone needs to be tested.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 06, 2021 06:49 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

“ findings reveal that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals exhibit similar viral loads following delta infection and that vaccine breakthrough cases have the potential to transmit infection to others.”
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.news-medical.net/amp/news/20210803/Unvaccinated-and-vaccinated-have-similar-viral-load-in-communities-high-in-SARS-CoV-2-delta.aspx

pstarSR Aug 05, 2021 08:20 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

not true, vacinatted folks have less viral load, and spread less.

and test whoever is sick, it doesnt matter.

Luvaduck Aug 05, 2021 07:48 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Statistics prove that this should no longer be optional. Vaccinate or provide a legal medical excuse and stay home.

Voice of Reason Aug 05, 2021 07:44 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

I’m thoroughly disappointed by the comments here; regurgitation of media talking points and misleading statistics, ignoring real world data, the blanket labeling and blaming of half the US population, the ease at which many here want to force their views and behaviors on others and actually wish ill will on them. Luckily this thread isn’t representative of our community, at the least the community I interact with on a day to day basis.

GeneralTree Aug 05, 2021 03:56 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Voice - don't be a part of the "F Your Feelings" crowd and then run home to mama when the kitchen gets hot.

sacjon Aug 05, 2021 09:41 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

VOICE - oh dear oh dear! Sorry you're so offended by our outrage! Sounds like you need a safe place. Does Alex Jones have a bungalow nearby for you?

PitMix Aug 05, 2021 08:35 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Everyone exists in their own political bubble- that's how we gotten to where we are today. It seems that you are in the minority in Santa Barbara, if not on Edhat.

SBLetsGetAlong Aug 05, 2021 07:12 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Ask SBUSD & SB Pub Health for the isolated Covid 19 virus proof. They need to publicly disclose the scientific evidence out local govt cites to enforce mandates.
Thus far they have not provided thus proof.

Recently the PCR test they’ve been using for over a year was found to be defective, not able to isolate the flu, a cold from Covid 19. It did know the difference. Furthermore it was found to test to such a minimal parts per million that was well beyond industry standards.

Thus far each time “they” cite a reason fir lockdowns we find out later it’s not correct.

Thus far they have not produced any proof of the Covid 19 virus isolate.

Demand to see proof

Channelfog Aug 05, 2021 03:37 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Vaccines and medications are known to be safe AFTER a 7 year period. During that experimental period we find out just how safe and effective they are and what side effects exist. I have been prescribed various meds and vaccinations over the years, all with long track records, and have been grateful for same. If I die before that trial period, so be it. (Cue the vicious, "be glad when you die" blather.) Mandatory vaccination, if enacted, will further wrend the already stressed fabric of society. Not going to go well on any level.

ChemicalSuperFreak Aug 05, 2021 01:59 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Mandating vaccines will not stop COVID, particularly the delta variant and likely other variants that will follow. The CDC data, both the leaked presentation and the study on the outbreak in New England, clearly demonstrate that fully vaccinated individuals are readily infected by the delta variant, spread it among themselves and can be hospitalized at a 4 to 1 ratio to unvaccinated individuals. The data out of the UK also similarly demonstrates that certain populations of fully vaccinated individuals are hospitalized and die at a higher rate than those who are unvaccinated. It’s time to take a deep breath and realize what health officials are just now coming to terms with---COVID is here to stay, vaccine or not. I know a few well-respected people who are responsible for guiding health policy, and more than one have joked that at this point we should just let young and healthy students contract delta and get it over with, as they’ll just be down a few days with a mild flu---particularly if they’re vaccinated---just like before the vaccine. Delta has returned us back to 2020, at least until there’s a vaccine specifically designed for it and several of the other new variants.

ChemicalSuperFreak Aug 05, 2021 06:15 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

GT: I do have kids. Also, if you pause to read carefully you'll note that I did not make that suggestion. This suggestion was relayed to me by people in charge creating COVID health policy for the Santa Barbara community. As I stated, they were half joking, but I could definitely sense their frustration with COVID being such a difficult and moving target that they're practically throwing in the towel at this point.

GeneralTree Aug 05, 2021 03:51 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

CHEMICALSUPERFREAK must not have kids. What alienated unibomber-like subvert of human excrement would say something like this "we should just let young and healthy students contract delta and get it over with, as they’ll just be down a few days with a mild flu"

KevinSB Aug 05, 2021 01:55 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

School districts cannot mandate unapproved vaccines. Can we stop the hysteria and focus on all the adults who need to be vaccinated? We do not know if these mRNA vaccines are safe for children yet.

Read what the experts say in this Wall Street Journal article. No healthy children have died of Covid. Zero! Please consider Hippocrates Oath “First, do no harm.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/can-schools-mandate-covid-19-vaccines-for-children-what-we-know-11623412802?st=6l6uzhw1hditlxe&reflink=article_copyURL_share

a-1628320966 Aug 07, 2021 12:22 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Cool! How do you get a "share" link from the Wall St Journal? I assume you're a subscriber?
Good article. It seems to be quite liberal re: vaccines. Good statistic information too.

KevinSB Aug 06, 2021 11:23 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Fair enough, SacJon. While I’m looking, how many healthy kids under 18 do you think died from Covid in the United States? 10? 100? 1000? Ok finished my search- my source was the very WSJ article I pasted in my comment which you didn’t take the time to read. I’ll
Save you the click (our children aren’t worth researching this for right?):

“My research team at Johns Hopkins worked with the nonprofit FAIR Health to analyze approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020. Our report found a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia. If that trend holds, it has significant implications for healthy kids and whether they need two vaccine doses. “

KevinSB Aug 06, 2021 11:20 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Fair enough, SacJon. While I’m looking, how many healthy kids under 18 do you think died from Covid in the United States? 10? 100? 1000? Ok finished my search- my source was the very WSJ article I pasted in my comment which you didn’t take the time to read. I’ll
Save you the click (our children aren’t worth researching this for right?):

“My research team at Johns Hopkins worked with the nonprofit FAIR Health to analyze approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020. Our report found a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia. If that trend holds, it has significant implications for healthy kids and whether they need two vaccine doses. “

MountainMan4865 Aug 06, 2021 10:55 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Like this?
https://www.who.int/news/item/25-08-2020-global-polio-eradication-initiative-applauds-who-african-region-for-wild-polio-free-certification
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/02/vaccine-derived-polio-spreads-in-africa-after-defeat-of-wild-virus

MountainMan4865 Aug 06, 2021 10:52 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

You mean like this? - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32908214/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113270/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943455/

a-1628177913 Aug 05, 2021 08:38 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

There have been outbreaks of polio since before recorded history. There’s evidence that it occurred in ancient Egypt. If one outbreak was fading, you could be sure it would come back some years later.

a-1628149880 Aug 05, 2021 12:51 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Lies again. It was not fading out until the vaccine showed up. And if you don't keep vaccinating, you risk an out break of wild or reactivated virus, shed into sewage. Wherever you are. It's a big problem in Pakistan. Another threat to civilization from idiotic anti-vaxxers.

a-1628135608 Aug 04, 2021 08:53 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

A picture of vaccine hesitancy:
https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

You think it's small. It is, compared to what could be. It was controlled by the great efforts of public health workers. Public sentiment helped a lot.

Much interesting info to be found when searching "measles vaccine hesitancy usa"

a-1628181158 Aug 05, 2021 09:32 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

And that's with >90% vaccination rates. We are in trouble, COVID is not going away and the political COVID climate the last pres irresponsibility created, I often wonder how we will ever get out of this mess.

CoastWatch Aug 04, 2021 04:56 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

For SACJON (The KING of Edhat Op Ed Liberals) Here are the numbers...Out of MILLIONS of under 18 kids in California, only 28 died- Every one of them had pre-existing conditions.... The numbers don't lie- They are similar to ANY FLU for humans under 18.
Try using wx3 google dot com to find out for yourself as you will no doubt think I'm lying... BTW, 28 kids dying is a VERY low number due to COVID, more die each year in car accidents or household incidents...

a-1628181253 Aug 05, 2021 09:34 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Once again, COAST, it is not just about kids getting sick. It is about kids being a vector and spreading COVID among vulnerable groups.

sacjon Aug 05, 2021 09:21 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

COAST - saying you found it on google doesn't mean squat. Do you know how to copy and paste? Let's see the url. Again, you can't just say something and make it a fact.

Ahchooo Aug 04, 2021 02:20 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

It’s good to see Kate Ford and Laura Capps taking a stand. The Thursday school board meeting should be interesting.

KevinSB Aug 05, 2021 01:38 AM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

I don’t understand how you can disregard the interests of the children here. I really don’t. Read what John’s Hopkins and Harvard medical school professors have to say. And yes, I’m a vaxxed parent.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/cdc-covid-19-coronavirus-vaccine-side-effects-hospitalization-kids-11626706868?st=bleb9aaed29fefn&reflink=article_copyURL_share

bosco Aug 04, 2021 04:32 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

I am going to believe that this is them taking a stand (until they prove me otherwise). I had the chance to speak with Laura Capps last year and she seemed to be of a reasonable mind. Even though she ultimately succumbed to the group think mentality of the board, she was the only one calling for sound science in a sea of paranoia.
Don't get me wrong, they made absolutely awful decisions early on (as did the superintendent) but they did finally stand up to the teachers union in the spring when the decision was made to finally open. If you recall, teachers wanted to delay even more until they were vaccinated and district basically said no. By then, SBUSD even stopped following in the footsteps of LAUSD which was refreshing to see.

This is a pretty strong statement by the two board members, I am going to be optimistic here and believe that they have no intention of shutting down schools again.

dukemunson Aug 04, 2021 02:22 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

Are they taking a stand or are they laying the ground work to once again abdicate their duty and ruin another year with a school shutdown?

ginger1 Aug 04, 2021 01:54 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

COASTWATCH: "Should the entire State and Nation sacrifice jobs, businesses and active schooling with normalcy for 3 (?) children who died of COVID?"

First, it's not 3 and the number doesn't matter. The answer is YES.

ANDREA: India. Point of fact. No longer in the news and that's telling. Their "delta surge" lasted about 55 days during which time 4-6 thousand people PER DAY died. The total for that "wave" might be over a million people. Two months later, that daily rate is "only" 300. There are numerous communities that had extraordinary number of cases ans deaths and now have none. Herd immunity.

But at what cost? I surely hope we do not see that here in Florida, Texas. Louisiana, Missouri...........

oops Aug 04, 2021 12:50 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

As school board members they should be ashamed of what they have done to our young kids for the sole benefit of the teacher union. Science has never been part of their decision making, what makes you think it is today.

Andrea Smith Aug 04, 2021 12:48 PM
Op-Ed: It's Time to Require Vaccines

I do not believe those saying Covid cannot be eradicated or at least significantly reduced are correct. What happened here is, Delta developed in a largely unvaccinated area - India - where hardly anyone is vaccinated and on top of it the PM lifted mandates and everyone got together in an already very crowded/overpopulated country for celebrations and the like. Up popped the variant. It eventually made its way here as was expected, right when we did not have enough vaccinated in the population [i.e. at least 70%] and right when they said the vaccinated can no longer wear masks [which led to the unvaccinated also shedding masks]. A perfect storm. Now, if Delta arrived here when we had at least 70% vaccination rate and people who were not vaccinated were responsible members of society and wore masks as asked, we'd be seeing a much different picture.

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