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Student COVID vaccinations: California becomes first state to require them for kids 12 and up

Requirement won't kick in until next year, possibly the fall, because it's tied to FDA vaccine approval

Dayna Chung waits in the observation area with her kids, Ana Chung, 16, and Aaron Chung, 13, after they received their first Pfizer vaccine dose at Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School in East Palo Alto on May 15, 2021. Photo by Daniela Beltran B.

In another aggressive effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure schools remain open, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 1 announced a vaccine mandate for students ages 12 and older, making California the first state in the nation to require students to be fully vaccinated for in-person instruction.

The mandate would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required immunizations, which includes mumps, measles and rubella. Newsom issued this order in the aftermath of similar mandates from the state's largest districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified.

"We intend to do that once the FDA has fully approved the vaccine, which will give us time to work with districts, give us time to work with parents and educators to build more trust and confidence," Newsom said.

Parents still have some time to get their students vaccinated. The state mandate will go into effect only once the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves vaccines for those 12 and older. Upon FDA approval, students will have until the start of the following academic term, either Jan. 1 or July 1, to be fully vaccinated.

This mandate, however, doesn't just put the responsibility on students. All public school employees will be required to be vaccinated as soon as the mandate takes effect for students. Until now, teachers and staff were either required to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19; negative tests will no longer suffice.

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The state expects that based on current FDA timelines, students grades 7-12 will be required to be vaccinated by July 1, 2022.

Students who are currently too young to get the vaccine will be required to receive their doses as soon as they reach the required age, but they'll be given a "reasonable period of time to receive both doses."

The California Department of Public Health will develop the rules for personal and religious exemptions following a public comment period. Details for that process have not yet been released.

The mandate comes in the aftermath of Newsom's overwhelming victory in September's recall election, during which the governor leaned into mask and vaccine mandates.

A survey released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that most families nationwide are willing to vaccinate their children.

California students who do not get fully vaccinated will be required to enroll in independent study, the only alternative to in-person instruction being offered this year.

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Email Joe Hong at [email protected]

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Student COVID vaccinations: California becomes first state to require them for kids 12 and up

Requirement won't kick in until next year, possibly the fall, because it's tied to FDA vaccine approval

by / CalMatters

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 1, 2021, 11:42 am
Updated: Sun, Oct 3, 2021, 9:25 pm

In another aggressive effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure schools remain open, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 1 announced a vaccine mandate for students ages 12 and older, making California the first state in the nation to require students to be fully vaccinated for in-person instruction.

The mandate would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required immunizations, which includes mumps, measles and rubella. Newsom issued this order in the aftermath of similar mandates from the state's largest districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified.

"We intend to do that once the FDA has fully approved the vaccine, which will give us time to work with districts, give us time to work with parents and educators to build more trust and confidence," Newsom said.

Parents still have some time to get their students vaccinated. The state mandate will go into effect only once the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves vaccines for those 12 and older. Upon FDA approval, students will have until the start of the following academic term, either Jan. 1 or July 1, to be fully vaccinated.

This mandate, however, doesn't just put the responsibility on students. All public school employees will be required to be vaccinated as soon as the mandate takes effect for students. Until now, teachers and staff were either required to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19; negative tests will no longer suffice.

The state expects that based on current FDA timelines, students grades 7-12 will be required to be vaccinated by July 1, 2022.

Students who are currently too young to get the vaccine will be required to receive their doses as soon as they reach the required age, but they'll be given a "reasonable period of time to receive both doses."

The California Department of Public Health will develop the rules for personal and religious exemptions following a public comment period. Details for that process have not yet been released.

The mandate comes in the aftermath of Newsom's overwhelming victory in September's recall election, during which the governor leaned into mask and vaccine mandates.

A survey released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that most families nationwide are willing to vaccinate their children.

California students who do not get fully vaccinated will be required to enroll in independent study, the only alternative to in-person instruction being offered this year.

Email Joe Hong at [email protected]

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics.

Comments

Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Oct 3, 2021 at 7:44 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2021 at 7:44 am

If he's going to enforce mandates, he needs to be consistent. He opposed mandates for prison guards because their union donated $1.75 million to defeat the recall. Follow the money. He doesn't believe in his own mandates.


Brad Lockhardt
Registered user
Barron Park
on Oct 3, 2021 at 7:51 am
Brad Lockhardt, Barron Park
Registered user
on Oct 3, 2021 at 7:51 am

@Jennifer…

Consistency & personal adherences to his own mandates are not Gavin Newsom trademarks.

He is California’s very own ‘The Prince of Privilege.’

Nancy Pelosi & London Breed are also part of this royal court & exempt from any mask-wearing protocols while in public.


Observer
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 4, 2021 at 8:00 am
Observer, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2021 at 8:00 am

Kids get shots every year for measles, TB etc.....I see nothing wrong with this but lets be clear: all or most politicians are full of poo poo and hypocrites!

Dems, Rep are all full of it!

Republicans know they are all about self and less government and admit it, Dems say they are all about compassion and the less fortunate but just NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 4, 2021 at 4:33 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 4, 2021 at 4:33 pm

TB vaccine is not one routinely given to children in US at this time, because... it was successful ;)
Others - measles, mumps, rubella, whopping cough, polio, tetanus just to name a few - are required vaccines for any child to attend any school, public or private, in CA (unless one has a legitimate medical exemption). There is always an option to homeschool for parents who misguidedly refuse to vaccinate their children. Adding Covid19 vaccine is a logical step; and I am for one extremely grateful to our governor for taking that step.
If we learned anything from the pandemic its that "honor system" for public health is a bad idea. Asking people to be good citizens and protect others around them by doing the right thing (wearing a mask when not vaccinated, distancing, etc) just did not work. If we have any hope for ending the pandemic, its mandatory vaccinations.


Avery Logan
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 5, 2021 at 10:20 am
Avery Logan, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 5, 2021 at 10:20 am

There are too many regular shots required these days just to be on the safe side…Covid-19, flu, pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria, smallpox, etc.

Mutations and boosters aside, are these additional injections primarily due to the influx of travelers, refugees, and immigrants from countries with low immunization rates?

Diseases like AIDS, West Nile Virus, Ebola, and the current coronavirus did not originate in the United States.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 6:25 am
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 6:25 am

Yes, there are too many:

anti-science/anti-vax nuts (who would prefer to wear masks forever)
xenophobes who want to scapegoat the other because they never travel
and/or meet other people, (apparently, never)
anti-Newsom nuts who argue what? he changes his policies to please (a large majority, correct that, a LARGE majority of, his constituents--isn't that democracy in action?


Mallory Duncan
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2021 at 10:24 am
Mallory Duncan, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 10:24 am

@John B. Sails/a resident of Midtown
"Yes, there are too many: anti-science/anti-vax nuts (who would prefer to wear masks forever)..."

FYI...the "anti-science/anti-vax nuts" tend to disdain BOTH the wearing of face masks in public and vaccinations.

There is no common ground amongst an unreasonable mindset and three mentalities:

1. The fully vaxed who wear face masks as needed or required,

2. The fully vaxed who now refuse to wear face masks period,

3. Those who refuse vaccinations and the wearing of face masks for reasons of their own (i.e. religious beliefs, fear or distrust of modern science, and the so-called 'patriots' defending their right to personal freedom.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:03 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:03 pm

okay, I'll amend. Wear your mask if you want, just stop telling the fully vaxxed they must. Isn't anyone else tired of wondering, say when they drive past Bsskin Robbins and still see yellow crisis tape around their outside tables, 'uh...is this part of the halloween patch decorations?


Julian Guiterrez
Registered user
another community
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:29 pm
Julian Guiterrez, another community
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:29 pm

@John B. Sails/a resident of Midtown

You must be in the #2 category of the Mallory Duncan/a resident of Old Palo Alto post.

Good luck going mask-less. Hopefully everyone you encounter in public is fully vaxed and non-asymptomatic.

Blue + Red = Purple.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:58 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2021 at 12:58 pm

You must know that she did not include everyone in those "only" mentality categories. I must wear one indoors, because Santa Clara is not as truly thoughtful as Santa Cruz county. Don't you believe that there can be a category for those who are forced to do something and question the reasons provided? Most fearful and conservative is not always best to impose on everyone you know. Are you familiar with the American revolution? There were fearful, conservative, ultra-conformists who tried to shout down all reasonable protests that would make a new nation. They were called 'loyalists.' Then there were people who dumped tea over into Boston harbor and so forth. They were called patriots: they believed in individual freedoms.


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