Arizona isn’t requiring COVID shot for children returning to school

May 12, 2021, 11:40 AM | Updated: May 13, 2021, 6:19 am

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Eligible Arizona children will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they return to schoolrooms in the fall, the state’s top public health official said Wednesday.

Children 12 to 15 years old can begin receiving the vaccine starting Thursday. Arizona children will be able to get their doses as soon as 8 a.m.

“We’re not discussing adding it as a required vaccine for school,” Director Dr. Cara Christ of the Arizona Department of Health Services told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“Arizona has an administrative code that has a list of required vaccinations,” Christ said. “We don’t require every single vaccination that’s recommended [by federal public health officials].”

The state’s immunization program office lists the vaccinations for school-age children as required by the Arizona Administrative Code.

Those shots include protection against polio, tetanus, measles-mumps-rubella, chickenpox, and Hepatitis B.

Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are more extensive.

“We have a precedent, right now in our schools, our public schools especially, children have to have certain vaccinations to go to school,” Dr. Richard Carmona, a public health professor at the University of Arizona and former U.S. surgeon general, said Tuesday on the Gaydos & Chad Show.

But parents can opt out of the vaccinations, he said, and their children can go to school.

The COVID vaccine is being dispensed under an emergency-use authorization, meaning the Federal Food and Drug Administration is allowing its use before approval because of the severity of the pandemic.

“Right now, this is still under EUA,” Christ said. “We’re not discussing adding it.”

Federal health officials approved Pfizer vaccination use in ages 12-15 Wednesday afternoon.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Pedophilic burglar fought mother and father, Phoenix police say...

Serena O'Sullivan

Man accused of breaking into Phoenix home, entering young boy’s room, fighting with parents

The Phoenix Police Department accused 25-year-old Abdullahi Aroni of being a pedophilic burglar in a Tuesday announcement.

22 minutes ago

A California woman died Monday after falling down a 140-foot cliff while hiking in Sedona. (Coconin...

California woman falls to her death down 140-foot cliff while hiking in Sedona

A California woman died Monday after falling down a 140-foot cliff while hiking in Sedona, authorities said.

1 hour ago

(Phoenix Fire Department photo)...

Serena O'Sullivan

Small underground explosion blows out manhole covers in Phoenix

An explosion blew out two manhole covers in Phoenix on Tuesday morning, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

2 hours ago

Gabriel Garcia, 55, was arrested on April 13, 2024. (Tempe Police Photo0...

Suspect arrested in Tempe hit-and-run that injured pedestrian

A suspect was arrested Saturday in a Tempe hit-and-run that injured a pedestrian earlier this month, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Goodyear lake crash kills wife: Husband indicted for murder...

Serena O'Sullivan

Man whose wife died after he drove into Goodyear lake indicted for murder

Anthony Joseph Maiorana, 35, was officially indicted with murder after his wife died in a Goodyear lake crash, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

4 hours ago

A view of the copper dome atop the Arizona Capitol. Arizona Republican lawmakers are considering a ...

Kevin Stone

Arizona Republican lawmakers consider ballot strategy to counter abortion rights initiative

Arizona Republican lawmakers are considering a ballot-flooding strategy to counter a voter initiative that would ensure abortion rights.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Arizona isn’t requiring COVID shot for children returning to school