New Jersey parenting group sparks online conversation about proposed school health code changes

Last week, a group called Innovative Parenting New Jersey hosted a livestream event on social media to discuss proposed health code changes at New Jersey schools. A post advertising the event claimed that “medical consent is being attacked.” Some commenters on the post claimed that proposed health codes are solely intended to “control the public” since COVID-19 vaccines—which would be required for students if the changes are approved—“don’t work.” Others encouraged New Jersey parents to homeschool their children to avoid vaccine requirements.

Recommendation: Trending conversations about school vaccine mandates provide an opportunity for community-based organizations and other partners in New Jersey to use existing content and materials to educate the public on the safety and importance of routine childhood vaccines. Messaging may emphasize that recommended vaccines are safe for children and protect them from serious, preventable illnesses. School vaccine requirements protect the health of individual children and their communities, as high vaccine exemption rates correspond with an increase in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Ensuring that informational materials use prebunking messaging to explain how COVID-19 vaccines help to protect against severe illness, death, and long COVID is also recommended.