Protestors in South Tahoe rally against vaccine mandate for kids

Protestors gather at the intersection of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Al Tahoe Boulevard Monday in South Lake Tahoe.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A handful of local residents on Monday stood in protest of state-mandated COVID-19 vaccine for children to attend school.

About a dozen or so protestors gathered at the intersection of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Al Tahoe Boulevard and held signs expressing how they feel about what they think is an intrusion into their rights.

Jessica Ramos, a co-organizer of the protest rally Monday said she feels like the government should keep to themselves and let the parents make decisions.

“We don’t want the government forcing us to have vaccines for our children to attend school,” Ramos said. “We just want them to keep to themselves and let us make the choice for our children. We’re adults, we can make the decision.”

Some of the signs read, “Stand up for our Children,” “My Body My Choice,” and “Freedom Fighters for Humanity, Our children, Our Choice.”

Several motorists driving by acknowledged the protestors with honks of their car horns.

Protestors hold signs Monday at the intersection of Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Al Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

The protest comes as public health departments across California are gearing up to administer coronavirus vaccines to children ages 5 to 11 as early as this week.

Within hours of formal approval, which is expected after the Food and Drug Administration signs off and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meets on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 2-3, millions of doses will begin going out to providers across the country, along with the smaller needles needed for injecting young children.

State officials are planning to use school clinics, in addition to other sites, to administer vaccines to youths, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The coronavirus vaccines will be among the 10 other vaccinations the state requires students to receive before attending school, such as tetanus, mumps, polio, measles and chickenpox.

The state also plans to continue masking requirements in K-12 schools.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate that all kids and school staff be vaccinated still leaves an opening for families to opt out for medical, religious or personal reasons, but the Associated Press reported Newsom believes most families will comply.

Ramos said she has a child in Visions, an online independent study school, and another who is expected to start taking classes next year but won’t be going to school with other kids with the mandate in place. She also envisions leaving the California to go somewhere with less restrictions.

“I think it’s unfair and unconstitutional for them to push their will upon us,” she said. “They passed Roe vs. Wade a long time ago said, ‘our body, our choice’ and that still stands today. My ending is leaving the state I grew up in and raised my children. But if I have to I will leave. We’re trying to make a stand and this is our first step right here.”

A protestor holds a sign Monday.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune
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