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Poll: Michiganders support COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schoolchildren

Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press on

Published in News & Features

While a vocal minority of residents oppose vaccination in general, substantial research and near consensus among experts shows vaccines help curb the spread of the pandemic and weaken any symptoms for the relative few who are inoculated and still catch COVID-19.

Overall, children are less likely to experience severe symptoms, require hospitalization or die because of COVID-19. However, the number of children in dire need of care because of the pandemic has risen steadily, as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

As of now, vaccines are only available to children age 12 and up. Even with Pfizer's announcement Monday, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would need to sign off on younger children receiving vaccinations before any mass rollout could occur.

Millions of Michigan students returned to in-person class in recent weeks. Despite calls from Whitmer and health experts for masking and vaccinations, outbreaks and cases connected to schools have ballooned in the past two weeks.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has repeatedly chosen not to enact any kind of mask or vaccine mandates, instead working to ban them. Whitmer also has eschewed enacting any sort of school mask or vaccine requirement, instead pleading with local districts to create their own mandate.

More than half of Michigan students attend a school with a mask mandate. But that still leaves hundreds of thousands of students who are ineligible for vaccine at a school that does not requiring masking.


Right track or wrong track


Those polled believe Michigan and the U.S. are not headed in the right direction.

—58.5% believe the nation overall is on the wrong track

—57.7% believe the economy is on the wrong track

—47.9% approve of the job Whitmer is doing, with 46.3% disapproving. Those numbers are worse for Whitmer compared to the 59.1% approval rating the same poll found in October 2020

—53% disapprove of the job Biden is doing, with 39% approving


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