GDOE won’t be able to require COVID vaccinations for now

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez (PNC file photo)

The Guam Department of Education still won’t be able to require or mandate COVID-19 vaccinations while the vaccines remain under an emergency use authorization.

With the next school year less than a month away, GDOE is still continuing with vaccination drives while addressing the remaining challenges to face-to-face instruction.

One of the biggest issues is the 3-feet distancing rule to meet current CDC guidelines while still holding a single cohort, 5-day on-campus school instruction.

In previous meetings, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez suggested that Adelup and Public Health consider a vaccine mandate to resolve the issue.

However, Fernandez tells PNC that for now, a mandate is unlikely while the vaccines remain under an emergency use authorization.

“I think the recommendation that the experts have is to wait until there is full FDA approval before any decision is considered and made to mandate the vaccination. So with that said, it just means that we’ll continue to promote and push for the voluntary vaccinations, and maybe later in the year, as the vaccines get approved, we’ll hear more about a potential mandate,” Fernandez said.

He added that GDOE continues to push for vaccinations since safety is the main priority for students, faculty, and staff.

GDOE spokesperson Michelle Franquez says that the department does not currently have any vaccination clinics scheduled.