California first state to require schoolchildren get COVID vaccine

Tracking The Vaccine

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced a plan to get elementary through high school students vaccinated against COVID-19.

Speaking at a San Francisco middle school, he introduced a two-phase plan for a statewide vaccine mandate for all students, once the vaccine gets full FDA approval for the different age groups.

It would be the first statewide vaccine mandate for children in the U.S. and could go into effect by summer 2022, Newsom anticipates. However, the timeline is dependent on the FDA approval.

He said there will be exemptions for medical and religious reasons. The mandate would impact both public and private schools.

At this time, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only one that has emergency use authorization for kids between 12-15 years old. It has been given full FDA approval for teens as young as 16.

Several school districts in the state have already implemented vaccine mandates for its students.

Most California school districts report they have 95-100% of their students back to learning in-person, the governor’s office said.

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