B24-423, DC Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021

Community Organizer

Kyle Myers

Democrats for Education Reform DC

Committee of the Whole’s Public Hearing:

Good morning. My name is Kyle Myers. I am a Ward 5 resident and a fifth-generation Washingtonian. I am also a community organizer for Democrats for Education Reform DC (DFER DC). I am pleased to testify in support of B24-423, the DC Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021. 

In order for our education system to return to normalcy, I believe mandating vaccines is an absolute must. Mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all eligible students and child care staff will help provide a safer environment for children to learn. It would decrease the chances of spreading the virus, provide greater reassurance for parents, allow children to participate more comfortably and effectively, and increase learning time by reducing the number of people quarantined. It also helps prevent another unwanted shutdown. 

Our students were subjected to learning at home away from their friends and education for far too long. This is not the most effective way to educate all students and prepare them for the real world. Many students need in-person learning to better comprehend their work, fully participate in learning, and receive the support they need if extra accommodations are necessary. 

To ensure we don’t see inequities exacerbated, all elected officials must improve communication efforts about the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure a successful vaccine rollout to all eligible children in all eight wards. Elected officials must also make submitting immunization records more accessible, which this bill seeks to accomplish. This is a positive change.

In conclusion, mandating vaccines is the best route to ensure our students receive the best education. Thank you for allowing me to testify on this important topic.