Proposed Bill Requires All California K-12 Students Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

By Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley is a daily news reporter for The Epoch Times based in Southern California.
January 24, 2022Updated: January 24, 2022

SACRAMENTO—A bill was introduced Jan. 24 that would require all K–12 students in California to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and eliminate the personal belief exemption.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a statewide school vaccination mandate, but it won’t take effect statewide until a vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Senate Bill 871 by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) would require the shots even if they are only being offered under an emergency use authorization by the FDA.

“We have an opportunity here to keep kids safe,” Pan said Jan. 24 during a California Medical Association news conference, where the legislator and pediatrician announced details of the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) answers a question about their proposed legislation requiring parents to vaccinate all school children, during a news conference in Sacramento on Feb. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Under state law, personal belief exemptions must be allowed for any newly required childhood vaccine unless the legislature passes a law banning them.

Pan said closing the personal belief exemption loophole for the “safe and effective” shots ensures that “every medically eligible student attending school in person is vaccinated.”

The Keep Schools Open and Safe Act builds on Senate Bill 277, also sponsored by Pan, which eliminated the personal belief exemption for all other childhood vaccinations required for public and private school students when it became law in 2015.

City News Service contributed to this report.