COVID-19 Vaccinations in Schools Delayed
09:55 AM - April 16, 2022
On Friday, April 14, the California Department of Public Health announced that the student vaccine mandate (that included a personal belief exemption) will be delayed until, no sooner than July 1, 2023. This announcement comes as the FDA has not yet fully approved the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals of all ages within the 7-12 grade span. The Governor's Administration was waiting for the FDA approval before engaging members of the public in the rulemaking process for adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines for public school students. The full announcement delaying the mandatory start of the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at https://bit.ly/3OeHf9j
That same day, it was announced that Senate Bill (SB) 871 (by Senator Pan) will not proceed. This bill applied specifically to updating the requirement for children to attend public child-care or school by adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of immunizations required for enrollment, potentially prior to full FDA approval. This bill would have also removed the personal belief exemption for COVID-19 and any future vaccines added to the list by the legislature or CDPH, including removal of the personal belief exemption currently included in the Governor’s October 1 plan. You can read Dr. Pan's full statement at https://bit.ly/3JM8jJx
On November 9, 2021, Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools, and all superintendents of the 15 El Dorado County school districts, wrote a letter to Governor Newsom. The letter emphasized El Dorado County’s belief in local control and the importance of safe, in-person instruction for students and educators. Specifically, the superintendents highlighted that the vaccine mandate would have the consequence of families leaving for other alternatives to classroom-based instruction.
Dr. Manansala stated, “As we maintain a safe and healthy environment for all students and educators, we are grateful that the proposed vaccine mandate will no longer be a challenge for our education system. As we move forward into 2022-2023, we will protect the conditions for our students to learn and thrive.”