California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that every child will require the COVID-19 vaccine to go to school. The mandate will go into effect following approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Posting on Twitter, Newsom said, “Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps, and more. Why? Because vaccines work.”
“This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy,” he added.
“We’re all left wondering as we move through the summer surge,” Newsom said, in a speech transcribed by Deadline. “What lies ahead of us in the winter and the spring...there’s still a struggle to get to where we need to go.”
Newsom announced that the state of California will require vaccination for all students for every age group for whom the vaccination is fully approved by the FDA if they choose to participate in in-person schooling. The program will be rolled out in two phases, with the first between the ages of 7 to 12, and the second ages in the K-6 bracket. The mandate applies to all schools in California, including both private and public schools, elementary and secondary.
“A statewide requirement for in-person instruction to add to a well-established list — that currently includes 10 vaccinations — the Covid vaccine,” said Newsom. “We intend to do that as soon as the FDA approves the vaccine.”
Newsom said that the timeline for the mandate’s rollout will begin as soon as it receives approval from the FDA. As soon as it is approved, “we will begin to apply that requirement in the next term.”
Newsom said that should the FDA approve of vaccines for children in those age brackets in November, the rules will likely apply in January.
Newsom’s move to issue a state-wide vaccine mandate for school children follows efforts by the Los Angeles Unified School District to impose a requirement for students over the age of 12 to be vaccinated for in-person instruction beginning December 12.
Los Angeles county released a timeline for the so-called “vaccination verification requirement” start dates.