California Will Mandate Vaccines For All Students K-12, Says Newsom, As Full FDA Approval Rolls Out

“We’re all left wondering as we move through the summer surge,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday. “What lies ahead of us in the winter and the spring…There’s still a struggle to get to where we need to go.”

He then announced that the state will require vaccination in all students from age groups in whom vaccination has been fully-approved by the FDA if they participate in in-person instruction. The requirement will take effect the term following full approval.

The governor detailed two phases, the first for ages 7-12 and the second for ages K-6. The mandate applies to both private and public schools, elementary and secondary.

The Pfizer vaccine is currently only fully authorized for those aged 16 and up. It is offered under an emergency-use authorization for those aged 12-15. Newsom did not detail the rollout for that group, but

Newsom couched the idea in terms of vaccinations already required for school attendance in the state.

“A statewide requirement for in-person instruction to add to a well-established list — that currently includes 10 vaccinations — the Covid vaccine. We intend to do that as soon as the FDA approves the vaccine.”

For kids 712 and above, Newsom said the timeline will begin “once the FDA approves the vaccination.” When that happens, he said, “we will begin to apply that requirement in the next term.”

Asked about the potential November FDA approval, he said if that comes to pass, the rules would likely apply in January.

In Los Angeles, the LAUSD has already announced it will require students 12+ to be vaccinated for in person instruction on December 12. For a timeline of some local and national requirements, see below.

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