California Governor Gavin Newsom plans to issue vaccine requirements for children both in public and private schools to attend in-person classes. He is waiting for the final nod from FDA for the vaccine before issuing such an order. The announcement attracted mixed reactions.
Thus the State will become the first in the country to issue such a mandate. The decision, according to officials, will affect millions of school-going children in the State.
California To Issue COVID 19 Vaccine Requirement For Children
The Governor announced his decision on Friday. He informed that he will add COVID 19 vaccination to the ten immunizations mandates already existing in the State.
Students can apply for exemptions based on medical, religious, or personal reasons. But no clear guidelines have been published in this regard. The State is waiting for suggestions from the public.
Students refusing to get inoculated and are not eligible for vaccination will have to attend remote sessions.
The pandemic is exhausting. And the State wants to end it, the Governor said during a press briefing. He made the announcement after visiting a middle school along with some seventh graders.
According to him, vaccines are effective against COVID 19. That is the reason why the State was not forced to close down its schools. The number of COVID 19 is the lowest here.
The mandate will happen in phases. It will be implemented when the FDA authorizes the jab.
At present, children in the age group of 12-15 are eligible only for the Pfizer vaccine under emergency use authorization. The shot against COVID 19 for children aged 5-11 is in its testing stage.
As per the mandate in California, students from 7-12 grades will be required to get inoculated before the semester. It will happen only after it receives full approval from FDA. The State expects it to happen by July. Children in kindergarten to sixth grade will have to wait longer to receive the vaccination. This mandate, as per reports, will affect over 6.7 million students attending public and private schools in the State.
Till then, the Governor has left the decision to the discretion of local authorities. This has given rise to conflicting orders in different localities.
Los Angeles, for instance, has issued a vaccination mandate for school children. And it will be January.
The announcement received mixed responses from the general public. Some of the parents said that they want to decide what is best for their children. Some say that they will prefer home-schooling to vaccinate their children. Others worry about the side effects of a vaccine the FDA has not yet approved.
Still, others want to know more about the vaccine before letting their children receive it.
Some hail the decision to be a milestone. They are happy that the State is trying its best to eradicate COVID 19.
California is one of the highest vaccinated States in the country. 84% of its population above 12 years of age has received at least the first shot. 70% is fully protected.
The rate of vaccination in the age range of 12-17, however, is only 60.5%. The State also has a minority that neither trusts the vaccines nor the assurances from the Governor.
Newsom is one of the most aggressive politicians is involved in the attempt to curb the pandemic. He was the first to order a statewide stay-at-home shutdown. 41 other States followed suit. In recent days, he issued a vaccine requirement for all healthcare workers and almost all government employees. He, however, does not support all such requirements. He was against a recent ruling of a federal judge who imposed vaccine requirements on the security staff of correction facilities.
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