NEW ORLEANS — Republican Louisiana lawmakers have taken aim at coronavirus vaccines, sending Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards two bills that would keep state and local government agencies from requiring individuals to be immunized in order to be eligible for certain services.
Anti-vaccine proposals from Republican Reps. Danny McCormick and Kathy Edmonston received final passage on Monday. Edwards — who has championed vaccines against COVID-19 and regularly urges Louisiana residents to get shots — hasn’t taken a position on the legislation.
No state agency in his administration has publicly proposed mandating vaccination for services. Meanwhile, tests of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine started Monday in Louisiana for children ages 5 through 11.
Children had their temperatures and blood pressure were checked, their noses swabbed and their blood drawn at Ochsner Medical Center as they went through the vaccination research process. Finally, they got a shot of either the vaccine or a placebo.
Ochsner, just outside New Orleans, is among 98 facilities across the U.S., Finland, Poland and Spain where tests of the vaccine in younger children are taking place or planned.