While Illinois will require a widely-available vaccine or coronavirus treatment to move into Phase Five of the “Restore Illinois” plan, Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t believe that the theoretical vaccine would be mandatory for children to get in order to return to the classroom after it becomes available.
During comments made Wednesday during a coronavirus press briefing, Pritzker said that he believes many residents will want to get the vaccine when it comes out, but he doesn’t believe that children will be required to receive the treatment to enter state classrooms.
“I can’t imagine that,” he said. “What I do think is that once a vaccine is available, I think many, many people will want to get vaccinated. We obviously want to get to herd immunity.”
While Pritzker doesn’t envision a mandate for the coronavirus vaccine, he does insist that the only way the state can realistically get to herd immunity is to use a vaccine.
“Herd immunity is something you only really can get with vaccines, and so we want people to get vaccinated if it’s an effective vaccine and if they will make it available to everyone, especially to those who are vulnerable,” he said.
Many vaccines are already required for students entering Illinois public schools, including mumps and rubella vaccines. Varicella vaccines are required for students entering kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades.