Governor says California schoolchildren will need to get the COVID vaccine


 Gavin Newsom

Governor says California schoolchildren will need to get the COVID vaccine

This requirement will not be practical until the vaccine has received full approval for children by the Food and Drug Administration.

 Gavin Newsom announced that all schoolkids would need the coronavirus vaccination.  California was the first U.S. state to issue a vaccine mandate for schoolchildren. The requirement will be practical once the vaccine is given full approval for school-age children.

 For kids ages 5 to 11, there is no emergency authorization yet. Still, Pfizer says the vaccine is safe and effective for that age group, and the company expects to apply for approval soon.

Pfizer is the only coronavirus vaccine fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

California's vaccine requirement is based on "grade range," which correlates with children's ages. Once the FDA gives final approval for ages 12 through 15, children in grades 7 through 12 (usually ages 12 through 18) should be vaccinated once the Food and Drug Administration approves for ages 5 to 11.

In a statement, the governor's office said that the vaccine requirement for grades 7-12 is expected to begin on July 1, 2022, although it may start as early as January. Kindergarten through sixth grade, starting later.

According to the statement, "Students under the age of full consent, but within a grade range, will be required to vaccinate once they reach the age of full consent (with a reasonable period to receive both doses)."

During his announcement, Newsom said there are currently ten more vaccination requirements for children before they enter school, including measles and mumps vaccinations. He told the COVID-19 vaccine would be the eleventh to be added to a "well-established list" of requirements. As with other vaccines, Newsom said, medical, personal, and religious exemptions will be provided for coronavirus vaccines.

At least five California school districts have already passed mandates for the vaccine, including the Los Angeles and San Diego districts. Los Angeles County will mandate vaccinations for children age 12 and older without waiting for full FDA approval, while San Diego will mandate vaccinations only for students 16 or older. Both areas have already begun receiving cease-and-desist letters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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