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Friday, December 3, 2021

Q&A: What California’s new student vaccine mandate means for your child

Gavin Newsom said Friday that students in California will soon be required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to attend school in person. Here’s what you need to know about the new vaccine mandate.

Q: What is the new requirement?

A: Children must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend schools individually, starting the school period after full approval of the vaccine from the FDA for two different groups. The requirement will be phased out by grade span, first grades 7-12 and then K-6. School staff will also need to be vaccinated for as long as the requirement applies to the first group.

Q: Does this apply to private schools as well?

A: Yes. All K-12 public and private schools in California will be covered by the mandate.

Question: So what is the deadline for my student to get vaccinated?

A. The exact date is yet to be seen. But children 12 years and older (grades 7-12 cohort) may need vaccination as early as January 1, 2022. The Pfizer vaccine already has full FDA approval for ages 16 and older, and the company is seeking the same authorization. For children under 12 years old. School staff – not only teachers, but bus drivers, mentors, etc. – will also need vaccinations at that time. The need for vaccines for young children in kindergarten up to sixth grade is likely to be months away.

Q: Aren’t teachers and administrators already required to vaccinate?

a kind of. Right now, they have the option to routinely test for the virus if they haven’t been vaccinated, but that option will disappear once the FDA gives final approval for that first student group.

Q: What if my student is not old enough to be vaccinated?

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A: The requirement will only apply to children eligible for vaccination. No vaccine has yet been approved for children under 12, but it could be late this year or early next year.

Q: What other vaccines are needed for California schoolchildren?

A: Vaccine requirements for attending school are not uncommon. California already requires children to be vaccinated for polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), hepatitis B and varicella (chickenpox).

Q: Will my child be denied school if my child is not shot?

A: Students who have not been vaccinated will be allowed to enroll in independent study, but will not be allowed to attend class in person.

Question: Are there any exceptions?

A: Yes, there will be exceptions for medical reasons and personal and religious beliefs. A few years ago, the state passed a law stipulating that parents could no longer cite personal or religious beliefs as reasons not to vaccinate their children against several diseases. Because the new COVID-19 mandate is a new regulation—and not the result of legislation in Sacramento—the state would have to allow such an exemption. But if future state lawmakers decide to enact a law adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations, those exemptions could go away.

Q: Will my child still be required to wear a mask at school?

A: Yes, for now. Friday’s announcement did not come with any change to the requirement that students wear masks indoors.

Question: Does the mandate also apply to preschool and higher education?

A: No, the mandate is limited to primary and secondary students. Many universities — including those in the UC and CSU systems — already require students and staff to be vaccinated, with limited exceptions.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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