Gov. Newsom announces vaccine mandate for K-12 students
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – California becomes the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for K-12 students.
Speaking at a San Francisco public school on Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the requirement will be enforced once the FDA approves “the vaccination in different cohorts” for ages 12 and up.
He said the COVID vaccine will “add to a well-established list that currently includes 10 vaccinations, and well-established rules and regulations that have been advanced by the legislature for decades.”
School staff, including teachers, bus drivers, and custodial staff will also need to be vaccinated. Newsom says once the vaccines get the necessary approvals, the state will apply the requirement in the next term, either at the start of January or July, whichever comes first.
Troy Flint, Chief Information Officer of the California School Board Association, said students 16 and older must be vaccinated this school year. Meantime, younger students will need to be vaccinated in the 2022-2023 school year.
Flint added exemptions for the vaccines will initially be included in the mandate. According to Flint, the mandate builds on a 2015 legislation which requires new vaccines added to the list of 10 to include religious, medical, and personal exemptions.