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Senate Health and Human Services chair assures Oklahomans COVID shots not mandatory for school

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Paul Rosino, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, is reassuring Oklahomans that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot make it mandatory for children in this state to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, said that the CDC’s decision Thursday to recommend the vaccines has caused confusion for many Oklahoma parents who’ve reached out to his office about their concerns.

“Oklahomans can rest assured, the decision about the COVID-19 vaccine is up to parents.  If they have questions about the shots, they can discuss those issues with their children’s pediatrician, but at the end of the day, it is the parents’ decision,” Rosino said.  “Furthermore, legislation we approved in the 2021 session prohibits making the COVID-19 vaccine a condition for attending school in Oklahoma.”

Commissioner of Health Keith Reed also stressed the shots are not mandatory.

“The CDC’s decision to add the COVID vaccine to routine childhood immunizations is only a recommendation, it is not a mandate,” Reed said. “The decision adds the vaccine to a list of recommended, but not mandated, vaccines for school-aged children, similar to the influenza vaccine. We always encourage parents to talk with their child’s healthcare provider to make the best decision for their child.”


For more information, contact:  Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email