California Is First State To Announce Covid Vaccine Mandate For All Children
Angela Underwood’s extensive local, state, and federal healthcare and environmental news coverage includes 911 first-responder compensation policy to the Ciba-Geigy water contamination case in Toms River, NJ. Her additional health-related coverage includes death and dying, skin care, and autism spectrum disorder.
Are Kindergartners Allowed To Enroll Conditionally If They Have Not Yet Completed All Of The Required Vaccinations
Yes, if they meet certain requirements. Kindergartners must have a mumps and a rubella vaccination before enrolling there is no conditional enrollment involving the mumps and rubella vaccinations. Kindergartners also must be as current as possible with other immunizations, given the need to space out certain vaccine doses.
Kindergartners may be conditionally admitted with at least one dose of the following vaccines: polio diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis measles hepatitis B and varicella
School districts already have their own systems for tracking and following up with kindergartners who are not fully immunized. Whatever systems districts are currently using remain in place.
If students are entering the public school system as transitional kindergartners, these conditional immunization rules apply to them as well.
All California Elementary Through High School Students In Public And Private Schools Must Eventually Get The Shots If They Want In
But first the vaccines must get final approval by the federal government for specific age groups. So far that approval only has come for those 16 and up. The federal government has given emergency authorization for those 12 to 15. Once final approval is given for that group – likely within the next few months – then the state will require students in seventh through 12th grades to get vaccinated.
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Legislatures Need To Act
Pan also hopes his proposal will answer the unease expressed in state and federal judges rulings against vaccine mandates handed down without legislative approval including a recent lower court defeat for the San Diego Unified School Districts student vaccine requirement.
While I may not agree with some of the rulings around vaccine requirements, Pan said, the judges have certainly made it clear: legislators have the authority to pass laws to make our communities safe, including increasing vaccination rates to keep schools open and safe. Therefore, legislatures need to act.
Pan, a pediatrician who also chairs the state Senates Health Committee, authored SB 277, the original 2015 law that ended the personal belief exemption for the list of required shots K-12 students must receive to attend school, for vaccinations against:
- hepatitis B
- haemophilus influenzae B
His forthcoming bill hasnt yet been drafted into legislative language, but is certain to draw criticism from many of the same vaccine skeptics and medical freedom groups who protested SB 277. It would not only add COVID-19 to the array of required vaccines, but also end the personal belief exemptions for any future condition that state public health officials deem necessary to add to the list.
How The Mandate Will Work
The mandate is dependent on the COVID-19 vaccine receiving full licensure from the FDA for children.
Currently, the FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine for Americans aged 12 and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only vaccine fully approved by the FDA and that approval only applies for Americans aged 16 and older.
Under the new mandate, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for children to attend a public or private school in person in California. The state plans to phase in the requirement by grade spansseventh through twelfth and kindergarten through sixth to promote smoother implementation.
Any student who is not vaccinated may enroll in independent study, but may not attend in-person classes. There is a caveat, though, that says that vaccine requirements established by regulation, not legislation, must be subject to exemptions for both medical reasons and personal beliefs.
Currently, California requires all school staff to verify their vaccination status or be tested weekly, but the new mandate will require that all staff be vaccinated no later than when the requirement takes effect for students.
The requirements will start the term after the ages in a full grade span are approved for use of the COVID-19 vaccine by the FDA.
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Legislators have the ability to pass laws to make our communities safe, including increasing vaccination rates to keep schools open and safe.
Under state law, personal belief exemptions must be allowed for any newly-required childhood vaccine unless the legislature passes a law banning them.
Pan said closing the personal belief exemption loophole for the safe and effective shots ensures that every medically-eligible student attending school in person is vaccinated.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a statewide school vaccination mandate, but it will not take effect statewide until a vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Pans bill would require the shots even if they are only being offered under an emergency-use authorization by the FDA. Newsom has frequently pointed out that there are already a number of vaccinations required for school children in California.
We know that vaccines are our greatest defense, but too many kids are left vulnerable to this serious disease. CA needs policies to minimize the threat to children. CMA appreciates ‘s leadership of for working to protect childrens health and their right to safe schools.
California Medical Association
Anyone aged 5 and older is currently eligible for a Covid vaccine, but in Los Angeles only 19% of residents between the ages of 5 and 11 are fully vaccinated.
She voiced her support for a statewide vaccine mandate.
City News Service contributed to this report.
California’s Current Vaccination Law
Changes to Californias vaccination law make it more difficult for parents to use medical exemptions to avoid immunizing their children before enrolling them in school.
The new law is meant to close loopholes in the 2015 vaccination law that eliminated so-called personal belief exemptions allowing parents to opt out of immunizing their children based solely on their personal beliefs.
Hearings on the proposed changes brought large crowds of opponents to the state Capitol. In exchange for his signature on Senate Bill 276, Gov. Gavin Newsom asked for a slate of revisions in the form of a second bill Senate Bill 714 that loosened some of the restrictions and tighten others. Newsom signed both bills Sept. 9.
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who authored the 2015 vaccination law, proposed changes to the law after a series of measles outbreaks in California and across the country. In his original proposal, doctors would have been required to submit all medical exemption requests to the California Department of Public Health, which would have had to approve them.
His bill would have required doctors to certify they examined the child and included in the request their name, their medical license number and the reason for the exemption. The public health department would have been required to keep a database of the exemptions and it would have the authority to revoke exemptions if theyre later found to be fraudulent.
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Fauci Says Teachers Should Be Required To Be Vaccinated
“We think this is the right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have for young children,” Newsom said.
Several large school districts in the state have issued similar requirements in recent days, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and the Long Beach Unified.
California, like the rest of the country, has seen a troubling surge in COVID-19 infections because of the delta variant, which represents the vast majority of new cases. It has affected children more than previous strains of the virus.
California’s two largest teachers unions, both powerful political allies to the governor, said they fully supported Newsom’s policy.
On Sunday, the president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union, Randi Weingarten, said “the circumstances have changed.”
“It weighs really heavily on me that kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated,” said Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers both cited state and national polling that indicates nearly 90% of educators have been vaccinated but said the rising spread of the delta variant, particularly among children, makes the new policy necessary. Children under 12 are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
A vaccination site for employees of the Los Angeles school district in Inglewood, Calif., in March.
Correction Aug. 11, 2021
California For Decades Has Required Schoolchildren Receive Vaccines For A Range Of Diseases From Measles To Mumps To Chickenpox But Experts Say Its Unclear Whether Districts Can Individually Mandate Vaccines Under Current State Law
When the Culver City Unified School District announced in August it would require all eligible students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the announcement was met with overwhelming support from the surrounding Los Angeles County community.
But as other schools across California have announced similar mandates in recent weeks, questions have emerged about whether individual districts can legally require public schoolchildren to receive COVID-19 shots, spurring opposition.
The Los Angeles Unified School District saw protesters when its board voted to mandate COVID-19 shots for students over 12 years of age on Sept. 9. The vote led to claims online that the district did not have the legal authority to require vaccinations. Last week, a crowd of parents holding signs with slogans like My child, my choice gathered outside a high school in Glendale, even though the school currently has no COVID-19 vaccination mandate in place for pupils.
Experts say previous legal rulings indicate that schools can generally mandate vaccinations for students and employees. But in California, where the state Legislature has already passed laws on student vaccination mandates, its unclear how much latitude districts might have to require schoolchildren to get the shot.
Legal scholars expect that the courts will have to work out the details. In the meantime, heres what we know.
Californias Current Vaccination Laws
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What Do We Know About Vaccination Rates For Teachers
The California Teachers Assn. has said 90% or more of its members have reported they are already vaccinated against COVID-19, and the union pushed hard for early access over the winter to doses of the vaccine. In Los Angeles Countys 80 school districts, an estimated 83% of K-12 school employees are vaccinated.
Colleges In 14 States Won’t Require The Covid Vaccination Is Yours One Of Them
When the coronavirus began to spread around the country last year, most colleges and universities shut their doors. And when they began to reopen in the fall, they did so in piecemeal and convoluted ways.
In some cases, students could live in dorms but had to take classes online. Dining halls were reservation-only. Singing was banned. While some schools avoided major outbreaks, others became hot spots.
The introduction of three Covid-19 vaccines early this year to college populations seemed to present an exit from these patchwork reopenings, which robbed students of a traditional college experience. But an NBC News analysis of rules across the U.S. found that vaccination requirements for students have proven to be just as complicated as the frenetic fall 2020 semester, if not more so.
In Texas, public universities cant require a vaccination, but private ones can. In Massachusetts, where colleges and universities can mandate Covid-19 vaccinations, 43 of more than 100 had agreed to do so by mid-May. In New York, public universities cannot allow for religious exemptions, while a majority of the states private universities can.
Among other findings in the analysis:
Lorine Najjar, 21, a senior at the University of Colorado Denver, hopes schools find a solution.
I lost my motivation for school, she said of remote learning. I understand why people are scared to get the vaccine, but it will help return us to normal life.
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New Law Regarding Personal Beliefs Exemption
Under a new law known as SB 277, beginning January 1, 2016 exemptions based on personal beliefs, including religious beliefs, will no longer be an option for the vaccines that are currently required for entry into child care or school in California. Most families will not be affected by the new law because their children have received all required vaccinations. Personal beliefs exemptions on file for a child already attending child care or school will remain valid until the child reaches the next immunization checkpoint at kindergarten or 7th grade.
What About Children Who Currently Have Personal Belief Exemptions On File
Children who before Jan. 1, 2016 held personal belief exemptions to vaccinations are not subject to the new law until they reach their next vaccination checkpoint.
The law defines these checkpoints as grade spans, as follows:
- Birth to preschool
- Kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, including transitional kindergarten
- Grades 7 to 12, inclusive.
For example, a 6th grade student with a personal belief exemption in December 2015 will still have to comply with vaccination requirements upon entering 7th grade, which is a vaccination checkpoint.
If a child has been exposed to one of the 10 diseases named in the immunization requirements and does not have proof of immunization, the child temporarily may be kept out of school.
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Option : Public School Independent Study Programs Or Public Charter Schools
If you register with a public school ISP or Charter School, your child is still in public school. You are considered a teachers aide and will be assigned a credentialed teacher to oversee your program. You will need to keep the records required by the program in which you enroll. The amount of freedom you have in choosing what to study depends on the programs policies and your assigned teacher.
In general, the curriculum options for a public school ISP are much more limited as compared to those for a public Charter School. Parents who choose either of these options frequently do so because of the economic advantage of having the state pay for curriculum, supplies, and classes outside of the home. Sometimes parents choose this option because they are planning to homeschool for only a year or two, or are planning to homeschool only one of their children while keeping the others registered in public school. Some homeschooling families find that these options work well for Kindergarten through Eighth Grade, but become increasingly difficult for both the parent and student in high school.
Things to consider about this option:
Vaccine Exemptions And Private Schools What Are The Facts
As measles outbreaks centered on unvaccinated children continue to pop up in areas with low vaccine rates, one approach private schools and daycares reach to is keeping out unvaccinated children. An Ohio Jewish school announced it will not accept unvaccinated children, and I know other private facilities are considering this. So what does this all mean with respect to vaccine exemptions within private schools?
Note that this is a separate issue than the question of whether unvaccinated children can be kept home during an outbreak. All states have a provision in law to keep unvaccinated children at home during an outbreak, and some of the affected states like New York are doing that.
The question here is whether private schools and daycare can legally refuse to accept unvaccinated children at all, even if those children have valid vaccine exemptions under the state law.
The answer is, as often with the law, maybe.
This is not a new question. I have had questions on this come up since I became interested in vaccines and the law, including in California, before the days of SB277.
That is not, however, the end of the discussion.
In the background is the reality that private institutions can choose who to accept or reject, barring specific legal requirements. That means that if the law is ambiguous on this, the private institution has the freedom to decide.
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California Becomes First State To Require Covid Vaccines For All Students
All kindergarten through 12th grade students will be required to be vaccinated once it gains government approval for those age groups
California has announced the nations first Covid-19 vaccination mandate for schoolchildren, a plan that will have all elementary through high school students get the shots once the vaccine gains final approval from the US government for different age groups.
The government has fully approved the Covid vaccine for those 16 and over but only granted an emergency authorization for anyone 12 to 15. Once federal regulators fully approve the vaccine for that group, the state will require students in seventh through 12th grades to get vaccinated in both public and private schools, the governor Gavin Newsoms office said on Friday.
The state will require the vaccine for students in kindergarten through sixth grade only after the federal government has given final approval for anyone 5 to 11.
Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work, the governor said in a tweet. This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy.
California currently has the lowest Covid case rate in the country, although some regions, particularly those where resistance to vaccines and public health mandates remains high, are continuing to see a troubling surge in hospitalizations. Newsom, emboldened after easily defeating a recall effort last month, has emphasized his commitment to vaccine mandates to end the pandemic.