Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) recently weighed in on COVID vaccines for children.

“The decision to vaccinate children for COVID-19 should be a decision made by parents, not the government,” Caulkins said. “Politicians should not be the ones mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for our youth. I trust our parents to make this healthcare decision, not politicians.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the state sees approximately 112 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100 thousand tests as of Tuesday; the state’s website noted an increase in cases in October.

The health organization also announced that it has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. "The CDC released data showing that 38 counties in Illinois are at an elevated community level for COVID-19, up from 26 counties last week. Five counties are rated a High level and 33 are at Medium. IDPH is reporting 13,642 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, and 67 deaths since October 21."

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommended giving children 6 months through 5 years of age a COVID vaccine.

The Center Square reported that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has deferred to the legislature for a decision on mandating COVID-19 vaccines for the youth vaccination schedule for 2023. 

“The CDC has made a recommendation, that’s true, but this is a process that we need to consider. All across the state, we have representatives that want to be heard on this subject, I think it’s appropriate,” Pritzker said. “I think we should follow the scientists and doctors, that’s what I’ve been doing all along. Make sure we’re doing the right thing here.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ wrote that the Federal Drug Administration reviewed the safety and effectiveness of vaccine data for children under 5.

Caulkins was first elected to the Illinois House in 2018. His legislative experience includes serving on the Public Utilities and Prescription Drug Affordability. Caulkins resides in Decatur.