Puerto Rico will require COVID-19 vaccinations for schools

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Puerto Rico will require children five years old and older to get the coronavirus vaccine in order to attend school, the governor announced Wednesday.

The governor said there will be few exceptions granted for the requirement as the coronavirus vaccine was just approved for those ages 5 to 11, The Associated Press reported

Health Secretary Carlos Mellado says the goal is to get 95 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds fully vaccinated.

The announcement to require vaccines in schools comes as Puerto Rico leads U.S. states and territories with the highest vaccination rates.

The island has more than 72 percent of its residents fully vaccinated with 87 percent of children ages 12 to 15 getting the shot, according to the AP.

More than 80 percent of those eligible for a vaccine had been vaccinated before the approval for children.

Puerto Rico has had some of the strictest coronavirus restrictions out of all the U.S. states and territories, with a pandemic curfew and ban on alcohol sales lifted only last month.

Other states have been more resistant to coronavirus vaccine mandates throughout the pandemic. 

Vaccine mandates from federal and local governments have already received pushback with lawsuits filed around the country.

Tags COVID-19 vaccine Puerto Rico

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