California becomes first state in nation to announce COVID-19 vaccine requirements for schools

After implementing the first school masking and staff vaccination measures, California becomes the first state to announce its intention to require the vaccination of students – adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines required for the school, such as measles, mumps and rubella vaccines

Students will need to be vaccinated for in-person learning starting the quarter following full FDA approval of the vaccine for their class (7-12 and K-6).

SAN FRANCISCO – At a school in San Francisco, Governor Newsom announced plans to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines required to attend school in person when the vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for middle and high school grades, making California the first state in the country to announce such a measure. Following the other initial school masking and staff vaccination measures in schools, Governor Newsom announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for in-person school attendance, as will vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella and more.

“The state is already requiring that students be vaccinated against the viruses that cause measles, mumps and rubella – there is no reason we shouldn’t do the same for COVID-19. Today’s measure, like our requirements for school masks and staff immunizations, the first in the country, is aimed at protecting our children and school staff, and keeping them in the classroom, ”he said. Governor Newsom said. “The vaccines work. That’s why California leads the country in preventing school closures and has the lowest case rates. We encourage other states to follow our example to keep our children safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. “

California announces plans to add COVID-19 vaccine to list of mandatory school vaccinations

Thanks to the state’s bold public health measures, California continues to maintain the lowest case rate in the entire country and is one of only two states to be removed from the “high” COVID transmission category of the country. CDC. More information about the announcement can be found here.

The vast majority of school districts reported that over 95% of students have returned to in-person instruction this school year, as can be seen on the state’s Student Support and In-Person Dashboard. With unprecedented resources and public health measures (measures that have proven to be very effective), California is at the forefront of national trends in preventing school closures and keeping children in classrooms. class, accounting for just 14 of the more than 2,000 school closures nationwide, or about 0.7% – despite California educating about 12% of public school students nationwide. If California’s rates had aligned with national trends, the state would have seen more than 240 school closings.

To further protect students and staff and to continue to support a safe return to in-person education for all students, the governor ordered the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to follow procedures established by the legislature to add the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance, such as measles, mumps and rubella, in accordance with the Health and Safety Code. COVID-19 vaccine requirements will be phased in by class, which will also promote smoother implementation.

After full FDA approval of age groups within an age group, the CDPH will review recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Immunization Practices Advisory Committee , the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians before implementing a requirement. In accordance with applicable law, full approval for ages 12 and over corresponds to grades 7-12, and full approval for ages 5-11 corresponds to grades K-6. Students who have not yet reached the age of full approval, but within the school interval, should be vaccinated once they reach the age of full approval (with a reasonable time frame to receive both doses), in accordance with existing procedures for other vaccines. The requirement will take effect at the start of the term after full approval of this range of grades, which will be set as January 1 or July 1, whichever comes first. Based on current information, the requirement should apply to years 7 to 12 from July 1, 2022. However, local health jurisdictions and local education agencies are encouraged to implement requirements. before a statewide requirement based on their local circumstances.

Governor Newsom’s landmark $ 123.9 billion education program for Kindergarten and Kindergarten to Grade 12 provides an unprecedented level of funding for schools and students to transform the state’s public schools into equity and opportunity gateways, supporting the potential of every California student by: achieving universal transitional kindergarten for four-year-olds by 2025, expanding after-school and summer programs, providing universal free school feeding, increasing the number of well-prepared staff per student, creating full-service community schools to support the mental and socio-emotional well-being of students, and more.

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