Wednesday, April 13, 2022
On Wednesday, April 13, the Washington State Board of Health (SBOH), the agency who determines immunization requirements for students in all K-12 schools, voted to not require Washington’s students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for school attendance.
The agency’s decision means that immunization requirements for our students will remain unchanged for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.
The SBOH overwhelmingly supports the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine and notes that vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you, particularly against severe illness.
Before making this decision, the State Board of Health organized a technical advisory group made up of doctors, public health officials, school partners, and other community members. Over a series of meetings, the group met to understand the benefits and challenges of requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students.
In late February, the advisory group concluded their work and recommended to the State Board of Health that the vaccine not be required. In their meeting on April 13, the SBOH reviewed the recommendation and decided they agreed.
We are anticipating the current health and safety guidance from the state Department of Health will remain in place next fall. This includes regular cleaning and disinfecting, encouraging masks, sharing reminders of proper hand hygiene, and physical distancing to the extent possible while ensuring a full-time in-person opportunity for all students.
As a reminder, as we have learned throughout the pandemic, the situation with the virus can evolve and sometimes the guidance changes for us to continue providing the safest learning environment possible for our school community.
At this time, there have not been changes to Governor Inslee’s proclamation requiring school employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
As always, we thank our wonderful Woodland community for your support as we navigate and implement changes resulting from state guidance.
For the most up-to-date information on our COVID-19 response, visit our COVID-19 HQ website at www.woodlandschools.org/covid-hq