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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced legislation Friday to bar the federal government and public schools from forcing children to be vaccinated for COVID-19, citing parental rights and the potential threat to children relative to their risks from COVID itself. 

The Parental Rights Protection Act prohibits the federal government and any entity receiving federal education or health funds from “requir[ing] or otherwise mandat[ing] that any individual age 18 or younger receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” with any “local educational agency” that does so penalized by loss of federal funding. It also requires that COVID vaccines only be administered to minors if “a parent, guardian, conservator, or attorney-in-fact of the minor provides prior, written, informed consent.”

“Parents should have the right to decide what is best for their children in consultation with their family doctor,” Cruz said. “My view on the COVID-19 vaccine has remained clear: no mandates of any kind. President Biden and his administration have repeatedly ignored medical privacy rights and personal liberty by pushing unlawful and burdensome vaccine mandates on American businesses, and now they are preparing to push a mandate on kids by pressuring parents — all without taking into account relative risk or the benefits of natural immunity.”

The announcement follows the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) decision last week to approve administering reduced doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of five and eleven, a move which raised concerns thanks in large part to Dr. Eric Rubin, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, stating that “we’re never going to learn about how safe this vaccine is unless we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.”

Significant reservations persist among many Americans about the COVID vaccines for adults, stemming from the fact that they were developed and released far faster than any previous vaccine. Those concerns are even more intense regarding the vaccination of children, a prospect with limited safety data and an all-but-nonexistent need.

Defenders stress that their development did not start from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1–3 years on their own — to just three months apiece. 

While cases of severe harm reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after taking COVID shots represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the US Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” May reporting from NBC News quotes several mainstream experts acknowledging “gaps” in federal vaccine monitoring.

Further, a growing body of data indicates that the mass vaccination strategy for defeating COVID-19 has failed, thereby undermining the rationale for mandates. The federal government considers more than 193 million Americans (58% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated,” yet ABC News reported last month that more Americans died of COVID-19 this year (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

With regard to COVID and children, data shows they are at little-to-no risk from the virus itself, while even experts otherwise friendly to the new shots — as acknowledged in July by the left-leaning publication Wired — argue that the potential for vaccine-related myocarditis among young males undermines the public health establishment’s persistent refrain that “the benefits of [COVID-19] vaccination far outweigh any harm.”

This summer, a team of researchers with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “analyze[d] approximately 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with Covid in health-insurance data from April to August 2020,” and found a “mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.” The lead researcher, Dr. Marty Makary, accused the CDC of basing its advocacy of school COVID vaccination on “flimsy data.”

The Parental Rights Protection Act has no chance of being passed by the current Democrat-controlled Congress, let alone being signed into law by President Joe Biden. But its introduction and Democrat reaction to it will help define the parties’ positions on the issues going into the 2022 midterm elections, where the GOP hopes to build on the gains made in Virginia this week.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.