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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

State senator’s bill would require all California students to be vaccinated against COVID

LOS ANGELES >> State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, announced Monday, Jan. 24, legislation he’s sponsoring that would prohibit families from being able to claim a personal belief exemption when it comes to California’s COVID-19 student vaccine requirement, a mandate that could take effect as early as this fall.

The bill, known as the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act, will almost assuredly face legal challenges, as had a similar piece of legislation that Pan co-sponsored in 2015 which ended the personal belief exemption as an option for all other immunization shots required of public and private school children.

State Senator'S Bill Would Require All California Students To Be Vaccinated Against Covid
State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento

Despite the expected pushback by those who oppose vaccine mandates, Pan, a pediatrician by training, said that as the father of two children, he understands that parents are seeking assurance that in-person learning is safe.

“The most effective way to keep schools open and safe is to ensure the COVID vaccination rate of students and school staff is as high as possible in addition to masks, testing, and good ventilation to minimize infections,” Pan said in a statement. “My legislation will give parents great certainty that their child is unlikely to get seriously sick and their school will stay open during COVID.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom in October announced that students in kindergarten through the 12th grade, whether enrolled in public or private schools, would be required to get their COVID-19 shots after the vaccines receive full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, though families could seek a personal belief exemption. That exemption can only be removed through legislative action.

Pan announced his latest bill during a press conference at a Los Angeles high school, where he was joined by officials from the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts.

Los Angeles Unified school board President Kelly Gonez and interim Superintendent Megan Reilly, in a joint statement, noted that more than 1,400 schools in the nation’s second-largest district have remained open since August without a single day of pandemic-related school closures.

“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19. Los Angeles Unified applauds the nearly 90 percent of our students aged 12 and older and their families who are in compliance with our vaccine requirement,” they stated. “Senator Pan’s bill will support widespread student vaccination and ensure local educational agencies across the state can safely and effectively navigate the pandemic.”

World Nation News Desk
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