State Rep. Tom Weber | Photo: Office of Rep. Tom Weber

In response to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for California students, a state representative for the 64th house district, based in Fox Lake, is filing a bill to prevent such vaccine mandate in Illinois.

State Representative Tom Weber, R-Fox Lake, is drafting the bill and expects it to be filed this week, according to his office.

Weber is drafting the bill in response to California’s recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, which will be required once the vaccine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain age groups.

Weber says his bill will prevent Governor J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) or the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) from mandating the vaccine for students.

“Enacting such a mandate here in Illinois would be a step too far in removing parental choice,” Weber said.

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“The decision to vaccinate their child against COVID-19 belongs to parents and guardians, not the Governor,” he added.

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has federal use authorization for everyone aged 12 and older. It has not been approved for younger children.

Last Tuesday, Pfizer submitted data from trials of children aged 5 to 11 to the FDA.

Neither the Moderna nor Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for anyone younger than 18.

The state legislature returns for the fall veto session on October 19.

On Monday, the Springfield District 186 school board sent a resolution to the Illinois State Board of Education in support of making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for eligible children.

The resolution, which passed with two members opposed, urges ISBE to make the COVID-19 vaccine required for eligible students.

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That same day, Pritzker was asked if he’ll follow California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lead in mandating the vaccine for school children in Illinois.

“That’s not something that we’re looking at doing,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker’s office didn’t respond when asked why the governor is not looking at mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for school children.

The Center Square and Lake and McHenry County Scanner both contributed to this story.