Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that California will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students in grades K-12 to attend school. As a parent of two children in California public schools, I am absolutely thrilled with this news.
"We intend to (have the requirement) once the FDA has fully approved the vaccine, which will give us time to work with districts, give us time to work with parents and educators to build more trust and confidence and build out logistics so that we can deliver on what we are promoting here today," Newsom said in a statement.
The requirement will go into effect as the start of the term that follows the FDA's full approval for that grade group — either January 1 or July 1, the governor's office added in its release.
"Based on current information, the requirement is expected to apply to grades 7-12 starting on July 1, 2022," the release said. "However, local health jurisdictions and local education agencies are encouraged to implement requirements ahead of a statewide requirement based on their local circumstances."
The mandate will be a condition of in-person attendance, though independent study is an option for unvaccinated students. The effort aims to protect children and keep them learning in-person, Newsom's office said.