BOISE, Idaho — Idaho cities and counties are lifting their indoor mask mandates following new CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated people, however public schools were not a part of those recommendations.
Schools in the Gem State could require COVID-19 vaccines for students, but that decision would have to be made by the state, not individual school districts.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare already has mandatory immunizations for children in preschool all the way to twelfth grade. The current list includes vaccines for measles, mumps and tetanus, among others.
The Department of Health and Welfare based that decision on general vaccine recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
While ACIP does recommend the Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 12 to 15, Niki Forbing-Orr, a spokesperson for Health and Welfare said, "There are currently no plans for the state of Idaho to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory."
The Moderna and Janssen vaccines are approved for people over 18 years old and the Pfizer vaccine is approved for those over 12 years old.
While the state may not require the COVID-19 vaccine in schools, school districts do independently partner with health care providers to administer the vaccine to those who want it, which has been done in Boise, Vallivue, and Caldwell school districts.
Currently, the Boise and West Ada school boards say the best protection against COVID-19 for students is face masks.
West Ada and Boise school districts will require masks for the remainder of the school year.