LA school board mandates COVID-19 vaccines for all eligible students

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Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday that it would require all eligible students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by early next year.

The Los Angeles Unified School Board passed a resolution 6-0 with one recusal from a member for a possible conflict of interest, according to The Washington Post.  

Under the policy, students 12 years and older will be to be full vaccinated against the disease by Jan. 10. The district noted that the policy would not apply to those with qualified exemptions.

The first dose for all students is required by Nov. 21 and the second dose is required by Dec. 19.

Students who wish to participate in in-person extracurriculars must have their first dose by Oct. 3 and their second dose by the end of the month.

The school district noted that the Los Angeles Unified’s Daily Pass system would need to have an uploaded copy of a student’s proof of vaccination.

“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly said in a statement on Thursday. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.” 

The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only shot authorized for children between the ages of 12 and 15. However, Moderna and Pfizer have stated they have started trials with children under 12 years old. 

The news from California comes amid a rise in pediatric COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. More than 250,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus in the past week, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association revealed. 

Reilly’s office said that the school district’s goal was to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 cases, especially among children who are not yet able to get the vaccine yet.

“With the return to full-time, in-person instruction for all students choosing to return to LAUSD school facilities for the 2021-22 school year, continued high COVID-19 transmission rates due to the surge of the Delta variant and high rates of cases among school age children due to transmission, vaccination of all eligible and nonexempt students provides the strongest protection to the health and safety of all students and staff in the LAUSD school communities,” her office stated. 

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