Increasing numbers of school districts are moving towards mandating COVID vaccines for all students aged 12 and older.
For instance, the Oakland Unified School District recently issued a press release that announced the results of a Wednesday School board of Education meeting: The directors ultimately voted 5-1, with one abstention, in favor of mandating vaccines for all students aged 12 and above. The COVID mandate for schools is set to take effect at some point in 2022.
However, the requirement will not be implemented any sooner than January 1, 2022, in order to be “less disruptive” in the midst of the fall semester, as well as provide students with adequate time to receive the vaccine, such as either before or during the break from school over the winter.
The Superintendent of Oakland School District, Kyla Johnson-Trammell, and her team will apparently work towards “[working] out the logistics of how the requirement [will be implemented] when directed by the resolution,” per the school district’s press release.
In addition, the school district will also have a plan ready for presentation to the school board by the month of October.
The school vaccine mandate will reportedly include provisions that allow exemptions as required by law, as well as provisions regarding “personal belief exemption” opportunities.
The school district claims that it will create this requirement through examining the vaccine requirements outlined in the Los Aneles Unified School District, subsequently “[adjusting] it based on local context and need.”
These adjustments are due to the likelihood that some aspects may work well in Oakland whereas “others do not,” which is why “the best parts” of the Los Angeles School District’s requirements will be used and other parts will be amended as needed.
Recently, the Pfizer vaccine has been made available for individuals who are aged 12 and older, and it has been approved by the FDA for individuals who are aged 16 and older. Currently, the FDA has not yet approved the Pfizer vaccine for individuals between ages 12-15, aside from under the emergency use authorization (EUA).
Nonetheless, school districts continue to mandate vaccine requirements, including Piedmont Unified School District and Haywood Unified School District.
These school districts will implement their vaccine mandates even sooner, with Hayward School District requiring proof of vaccination by December 17. In addition, the school district indicated vaccine mandates would be passed for children aged 5-11 once COVID vaccines become available for this age group.
Piedmont School District will be implemented on November 17, and it will not allow religious exemptions.
According to the CDC, 64.3 percent of the American population aged 12 and up has been fully vaccinated against the COVID virus. In addition, 74.9 percent of individuals aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine.