California will become the first state in the United States to require public and private school students receiving in-person instruction to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The new rule, announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 1, will take effect once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives full approval for COVID vaccines for school-age children.
“We want to get this disease behind us,” Newsom said.
The requirements will be phased in by grade group and will start for each group only after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccine for that cohort.
The requirement is expected to apply to children in grades 7 through 12 starting on July 1, 2022, and will later be extended to those entering kindergarten through grade 6.
Children in California must already be immunized against polio, measles, hepatitis, chickenpox and other diseases before they can begin kindergarten.
Though parents cannot opt their children out of those vaccinations by citing a “personal belief,” they will be allowed to do so for the COVID-19 vaccination. State officials say this exemption is subject to elimination through legislation.
Business Insider, Oct. 1
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 1