Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the nation, announced this week that a COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to students between 5 and 11 years old starting Nov. 8.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is highly encouraged for children ages 5-11. However, it will not be part of Los Angeles Unified’s current student vaccine requirement,” LAUSD said in a statement. “We are delighted to be able to offer voluntary vaccine access to students in this age group.”
The decision came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2.
LAUSD said the policy of providing the “life-saving vaccine” is meant to protect its students, staff, and families.
Starting Nov. 8, LAUSD’s mobile vaccination teams will offer the vaccine to students ages 5 to 11. School-based clinics will offer the vaccine beginning Nov. 16 on select Saturdays.
In early September, LAUSD approved a resolution requiring students age 12 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. All eligible students must receive their first dose no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday, and the deadline to be vaccinated is Jan. 10, 2022.
However, the deadline for students in athletics programs to get the second dose is Oct. 31.
Students 12 and older who are wishing to participate in in-person extracurricular activities are also required to provide proof of vaccination.
As the vaccine deadline for students participating in sports was Oct. 31, Canoga Park High School’s football team was severely impacted by the mandate, as very few of them had met the vaccination requirement.
Coach David Perez told the Los Angeles Daily News that 17 players were barred from attending practice this week.