FILE PHOTO: Brendan Lo (13) receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
California will become the first state in the United States to mandate vaccination for school children. The mandate could affect millions of students.
Vaccine Mandates For School Children In California.
California Gov. on Friday announced, “there will be a statewide vaccine mandate for school students attending private or public schools.” The mandate was imposed after California Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “the Covid-19 vaccine shots will be included among the ten other immunizations that are mandatory for school children.” The other mandatory immunizations are for measles and mumps.
However, relaxations will be given to those having medical or religious and personal beliefs. Although it is not yet officially announced that these exemptions will be in place. But increasing public comments about it increase its probability of happening.
The unvaccinated students with no valid exemptions will be dropped out of school. And they then have to undergo independent study at home.
The Governor, during a news conference, expressed the urgency and need for the step. He said, ” The pandemic must end now. And for that to happen, steps like this are necessary. All the medical staff and the general public is exhausted and traumatized by this pandemic now.”
Governor Newsom added, ” the Covid-19 vaccine is effective. It is the sole reason behind the lowest number of Covid-19 cases in California.”
For now, only children aged 12 to 15 can receive Pfizer’s vaccine dose under emergency authorization. The FDA has not fully approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for this age group.
The FDA gave Pfizer-Biontech’s Covid-19 vaccine Emergency Use Authorization for its use among kids between 12 to 15. Vaccine for younger kids aged 5 to 11 is under consideration. Pfizer recently submitted its Phase 3 results for the kid’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Until then, the mandate applies to students in seventh to twelfth standards. The students must get vaccinated this semester. However, when these students are eligible for vaccination depends upon FDA. Pfizer does not have the full approval for their Covid-19 vaccine for use in this age group.
California already has mask mandates in place for school children. The administration earlier left the decision of using a mask or not in schools on the local administration. It gave rise to several different orders.
Similarly, Los Angeles also plans to implement vaccine mandates for eligible students from January. Some parents, however, want the final decision to be theirs. A parent from Los Angeles said, ” it seems like Newsom’s decision is more politically inclined that towards the health care.” Another mother, Janet, said, ” I rather prefer homeschooling before vaccinating my children.” Her kids are in first grade and pre-primary. She worries about the health effects the upcoming vaccines may have on her children.
California stands tall with the highest vaccination rate in the United States with 70% of adults above 12 fully vaccinated. And about 84% have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
Newsom continues to be the most strict Governor in terms of Covid-19 restriction applications in the state. The vaccination rate is high in California, and the number of new Covid-19 cases also dropped remarkably.