Murphy Administration appears poised to mandate COVID-19, Flu, and HPV vaccines in schools

New Jersey parents may have a massive choice to make ahead of the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) apparently emailed a “Request for Stakeholder Input” survey solicitation to “stakeholders” with an attached message that, while subtle in its wording, carries massive consequences for New Jersey schools:

“Please be advised that the New Jersey Department of Health is in the process of revising New Jersey Administrative Code Title 8 Chapter 57 which covers Communicable Diseases and related topics. The current rule is set to expire on February 8, 2024. To engage the relevant groups as early as possible, we are currently seeking the input of our stakeholders.”

What’s the big deal?

The NJDOH email also provided a presentation to recipients reflecting proposed changes to the “Immunization of Pupils in School” regulations including steps to “align immunization requirements in this subchapter with the current ACIP recommendations.” “ACIP” is a reference to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At present, the ACIP vaccine recommendations include COVID-19, Influenza, and HPV.

A screenshot of a presentation slide prepared by the NJDOH

At present, neither of the three vaccines are mandated for attendance at New Jersey public schools.

Republican legislators are demanding an explanation.

“The Murphy administration is looking to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, flu shots, and Gardasil in order for children to attend school through proposed rule changes,” said state Senator Holly Schepisi (R-39). “The DOH reached out to supposed ‘stakeholders’ to share their proposal privately, while never hinting to members of the Legislature or parents that this might be in the works. It’s another shocking example of this administration trying to sneak through a major policy change that would further erode parental rights.”

According to data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), less than 50% (46%) of New Jersey kids between ages 5 and 11 have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

“If the administration bothered to review the data—particularly the COVID-19 vaccine data—it would find that virtually no children received the vaccine during the last year because many parents simply don’t want it,” said State Senate Mike Testa (R-1). “In fact, in children who were vaccinated, the shots’ effectiveness waned dramatically after just a few weeks. My constituents are calling on the Murphy administration to provide clarity and make a commitment that COVID-19 and HPV vaccine mandates will not become the law of the land for students in New Jersey.”

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.