California To Require All Students To Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

By Bill Galluccio

October 1, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

California will be the first state in the country to require all students to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The new policy will take effect as soon as the Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccines. Currently, only Pfizer's vaccine has been approved by the FDA for people over the age of 16. The FDA granted an emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are being administered to adults under an emergency use authorization.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said that he hopes to have all students in the state fully vaccinated by next fall. Newsom said the vaccine mandate will be phased in using two groups, students in grades 7-12 and those in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The mandate will apply to students in both public and private schools. Newsom said that officials are working on crafting rules for students who are granted religious or medical exemptions from the mandate. Unvaccinated students will be required to complete an independent study program at home.

"We intend to (have the requirement) 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 and build out logistics so that we can deliver on what we are promoting here today," Newsom said during a press conference at a middle school in San Fransisco.

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