Fresh of his victory in the gubernatorial runoff, California Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced that California's schools will soon require all eligible public and private school students in 7th grade and higher in the Golden State to be vaccinated against COVID, a first-in-the-nation policy that Newsom says will impact millions of students by fall 2022, or possibly sooner.
The mandate would impact students in grades 7 through 12 and will be imposed during the next semester after (and assuming) the FDA gives full approval for vaccines for children ages 12 and older.
"This is just another vaccine," Newsom said during a news conference after he announced the "state-wide" mandate, claiming the COVID jab would join "a well-established list that currently includes 10 vaccines and well-established rules and regulations that have been advanced by the Legislature for decades."
Readers can watch the clip below:
Once the vaccines are approved for use in younger students, they will likely be phased in. Apparently, it doesn't matter whether COVID is still a problem by then or not.
The mandate could take effect for students 12 and older as early as January 2022, if full federal approval comes along by then, the governor said during live remarks at a San Francisco school.
Presently, the vaccine is only approved for patients aged 16 or older, though Pfizer has published trial results and submitted them to the FDA, suggesting approval for students aged 12 o 15 could likely come before the end of the year. If this happens, all students in 7th grade and above will be required to get the vaccine, or attend online school - or home school - permanently.
Medical and religious exemptions will be offered, Newsom said.
BREAKING: CA will require our kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine to come to school.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 1, 2021
This will go into effect following full FDA approval.
Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work.
This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy.
What's more, vaccines for students aged 5 to 11 are not that far off, which means the state could soon extend its requirements to all children in Kindergarten or older. Pfizer is expected to apply for authorization imminently with evidence that shows its vaccine is safe for children in that age range.
California was famously the first state to lock down, minting the "two weeks to stop the spread" slogan that's remembered