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Gov. Lee: COVID vaccines to be optional in K-12 schools

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says COVID-19 vaccines will be optional in the state’s K-12 public schools, once they become available.

The Republican said at a news conference Tuesday that vaccines will be very important for Tennessee to “ultimately really be able to handle” the virus.

But he said he doesn’t foresee COVID-19 mandates for school districts in Tennessee, saying vaccines are a choice.

The comment comes as Tennessee and the country as at large look toward initial doses of vaccine that could arrive in the next few weeks, amid a surge in the coronavirus that is increasingly straining hospital systems.