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California school district requiring vaccines for eligible students in possible first for state

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A California school district is requiring all of its eligible students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in what may be the first such mandate in the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Culver City Unified School District is ordering children 12 and older to get vaccinated by Nov. 19, by which time local officials hope the shot will have received full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the Times. The vaccine is currently authorized for emergency use by the FDA.

The district’s superintendent, Quoc Tran, told the Times that the decision to require students to get vaccinated was made after discussions with the school board, teacher and employee unions and parents. 

“We felt that doing the minimum is not quite good enough. We could do more,” Tran said. “We are in the context of constantly crowded places in school settings. The vaccine helps in case our children or staff members contract the virus. They have a lesser chance to be severely impacted.”

Tran estimated that about 1 in 20 parents in the district is opposed to the vaccine mandate for students but reiterated that he believes it was the right call, the Times reported. 

“It is not a fair trade,” he said. “We’re obligated to provide the best protection to our children and community.”

Erika von Euw, a mother of a 12-year-old girl at Culver City Middle School, told the Times that she is “grateful” for the district’s decision. 

“I feel that that’s the best decision,” she said.

California became the first state last week to require all teachers and school staff in every district to receive the vaccine. The state, like the rest of the country, has seen a rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations this summer as the delta variant takes hold.

Tags California Los Angeles Times school vaccine mandate student vaccine mandate

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