At least three more school districts in California are going to require students aged 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school, following the state’s largest school district—Los Angeles Unified School District—announcing the mandate two weeks ago.
On Wednesday night, school boards of the Oakland Unified School District, the Piedmont Unified School District, and the Hayward Unified School District voted to require COVID-19 vaccines for students.
The School board of the Oakland Unified School District passed a resolution by 5–1, with one abstention. The resolution requires all students 12 and older to be fully vaccinated. Exemptions would be for medical and “personal belief” reasons, San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The superintendent told the board the school district couldn’t implement the mandate before January. According to the proposed resolution (pdf), the superintendent is tasked to initiate a vaccination campaign and establish vaccination thresholds and incentives for each school.
Students who do not want to get a COVID-19 vaccine and do not qualify for an exemption may ultimately be unenrolled from the district, the proposed resolution showed.
The Piedmont Unified School District board approved a similar mandate unanimously, KRON4 reported.
Currently, only Pfizer’s vaccine has been granted emergency use authorization for kids 12 years old and up. On Aug. 23, Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 16 years old and older.
On Monday, Pfizer announced that phase 2/3 trial results showed that its vaccine was safe, well-tolerated among 5 to 11 years of age, and “demonstrating strong immune response.”
California’s top health official said Thursday that a statewide vaccine requirement for kids 12 and older could be forthcoming.
Ghaly issued a joint statement Wednesday with California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, saying, “Vaccines are safe and effective, and they’re how we end this pandemic.”
“It continues to be incredibly important that unvaccinated Californians get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect both themselves and their loved ones,” the statement reads.
The statement says California supports administering Pfizer boosters to people eligible and is ready to do so. FDA approved the booster under emergency use earlier that day.
On Aug. 11, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all school employees must be fully vaccinated or submit to testing at least once per week to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.