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Tennessee House Republicans urge Gov. Lee to block TDH from distributing COVID-19 vaccines to young children

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Posted at 11:31 AM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 19:26:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — House Republican leaders are urging Gov. Bill Lee to stop the Tennessee Department of Health from distributing COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of 5.

The request was signed by House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, Majority Leader Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and State Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville. The group wants Lee to block TDH from giving out, promoting or recommending the vaccines for young children until there is more clinical evidence available.

"Young children have never been at serious risk of death or hospitalization from COVID-19," said Zachary. "That’s why it’s important that we know more about any potential short-term and long-term impacts these vaccinations could have before our health departments start administering them. Parents who want to have their child vaccinated can still do so by going to a private medical provider."

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration granted Moderna and Pfizer emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old. Before that, children under the age of 5 were not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.