First Focus on Children, Families USA, Health Leads, School-Based Health Alliance, and Vaccine Equity Cooperative sent the following letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urging them to allow paid time off not just for employees to get vaccinated, but also to attend to the vaccination and recovery needs of their children.

Excerpt from the letter:

Providing paid leave is vital to both ensuring a safe and healthy workforce, and helping to alleviate some disparities in vaccine distribution that we are witnessing in children and adults. To date, vaccination rates among already eligible children and adolescents are lagging. As of October 6, only 45 percent of 12-17 year-olds were fully vaccinated, and the rates of children receiving their first dose have declined in recent weeks.ii The administration must do everything within its authority to ensure wide uptake of the vaccine among youth, which will protect them as well as their families and communities. Providing paid leave to employees for the vaccination and recovery of the children they care for will help increase youth vaccination rates as well as maintain a healthy and stable workforce with fewer interruptions to caregivers’ work schedules.

Read the full letter here.