HUTCHINSON — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday that vaccine mandates are not a direction she plans to go right now.
"I don't have any intention of going down that road right now," Kelly said. "I think what we are doing with vaccines and taking them out to the community, taking them out to places where people feel comfortable and trust those around them is the road that we're going to continue on down now."
Kelly acknowledged that different jurisdictions and different businesses will make their own policy in that regard.
"I was just in New York on a trade mission," Kelly said. "In order to get into a restaurant in New York, I had to show my vaccine card. There's a lot of that going on, just sort of organically. I'm fully aware that the President has announced the mandate for businesses with over 100 employees. We don't really know what that means. We haven't seen the guidelines. The mandate is also softened though, by, if you don't want to get vaccinated, at least get tested."
Pfizer has said it will seek emergency use authorization for children. Kelly plans to make sure the rollout happens if approved.
"When the vaccines are available for our 5- to 12-year-olds, then you can trust that we will make sure that we get those vaccines into our schools and hopefully into the arms of all of our schoolchildren," Kelly said.
Kelly was in Hutchinson for the Governor's Day at the Kansas State Fair and to speak to students at Hutchinson Community College.