Joint Government Operations Committee Chairmen Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) and John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) made an announcement Wednesday in the Rule Review Committee concerning the Department of Health. The announcement is pursuant to the Joint Committee’s action at its June 16 meeting to invite the Department to return to the next committee meeting on July 21 to address further questions and concerns regarding the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to minors without parental consent.
In the remarks read by Chairman Kerry Roberts he reiterated the main two concerns of some committee members were that the COVID-19 vaccine was being marketed to minors and administered without parental consent.
“We have not discouraged Tennesseans from being vaccinated nor have we discouraged Tennesseans from having their children vaccinated, Chairman Roberts said.
“Further, it has been widely misrepresented that all children’s vaccines have come to a halt. To be absolutely clear, Tennessee’s efforts on childhood vaccinations are unchanged. The only exception is administering a COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent.”
He said, "Interpreting the concerns of marketing COVID-19 vaccines to children without parental consent as being an anti-vaccine stance is intellectually dishonest and wrong.
“To be clear, the Tennessee Department of Health was not asked to stop vaccinating children nor have they stopped vaccinating children for COVID-19 or any other disease. Rather, they were asked to stop vaccinating children for COVID-19 without parental consent and stop marketing to minors.”
After the committee meeting on June 16, Chairman Roberts and Chairman Ragan met with Commissioner Piercey and a member of the Governor’s staff.
Chairman Roberts said, “During that meeting, Dr. Piercey and the governor’s office confirmed that it is not the policy of Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Education, or our 89 county health departments to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children without parental consent. She further detailed the steps taken to stop any marketing directed at minors.”