EAST WENATCHEE — The Eastmont School Board unanimously adopted a resolution opposing a vaccine requirement for students during a 4-minute special meeting Tuesday.
“Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Eastmont School Board of Directors opposes making the COVID-19 vaccine required under WAC 246-105-030,” the resolution reads in part.
The State Board of Health will vote April 13 on whether to accept the recommendation from a Technical Advisory Group to not require a COVID-19 vaccination for students. At a Feb. 24 meeting, seven members did not support the requirement, six supported it and four were unsure.
The TAG is a collection of representatives from the health, school and childcare industries as well as community, parent and tribal representatives. The TAG was convened by the state Department of Health in October.
The panel met throughout February and received parent feedback before making the initial recommendation.
Eastmont called a special meeting after the district received notification late Friday afternoon of an April 8 deadline for comment to the state Board of Health.
The next regularly-scheduled board meeting is April 18.
According to the resolution, board members believe “requiring the COVID-19 vaccine would create an unreasonable administrative burden.” This is one of the nine criteria the DOH considers for a vaccine requirement.
The resolution also cites the accessibility of the vaccine and says, “receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is an acceptable and encouraged choice for families who so desire.”
“We know that if required, it will be a hardship on many families,” Assistant Superintendent Matt Charlton said in presenting the resolution to the board.
Superintendent Garn Christensen is on vacation during Eastmont’s spring break. Board President Whitney Smith was absent.
The board has four members after Joy Dawe’s resignation last week.
Board member Cindy Wright, who called the meeting to order and adjourned it in Smith’s absence, said afterward the resolution “holds a little more teeth.”
“It’s just showing how we feel about it,” Wright said. “This isn’t something we support.”
Charlton said Eastmont received both positive and negative feedback from parents about a potential vaccine mandate, though comments have waned recently after Washington’s mask mandate for schools was lifted.
The state Board of Health is scheduled to meet from 9 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. on April 13 to accept or reject the recommendation. Public comment is accepted until noon Friday.
For additional information on the meeting and the recommendation, and to provide public comment, go to https://wwrld.us/TAG.