From October 1st, 2021, California has officially become the first state to require COVID-19 vaccines for students in school.
In addition to the required vaccines for such diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella, the coronavirus will be added to the list. This makes it mandatory for any student who wishes to attend school.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his plans a while back, as he said he would act on these plans as soon as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the COVID-19 vaccine for middle schoolers. By far, California remains the only state to have made such decisions. Likewise, California was known to the be first state to implement mask and staff vaccination protocols. California is also leading in numbers of youth vaccination records, reaching nearly a grand majority. Now, Governor Newsom is working towards opening access to vaccines for kids from ages 5-11.
With such, California remains the state with the lowest case rate out of all the states. With in person school resuming this past school year, many parents and students alike worried about the transmission of COVID-19 through contact and communication. However, with almost 95% of students returning back to school this year, only 0.07% of schools have shutdown. This quantifies for nearly 12 schools out of 2,000 public schools shut downs nationwide. According to gov.ca.org, “If California’s rates had aligned with national trends, the state would have seen upwards of 240 school closures.”
In doing so, Governor Newsom annonuced to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to follow such procedures by the Legislature “to add the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance—such as measles, mumps, and rubella—pursuant to the Health and Safety Code. COVID-19 vaccine requirements will be phased-in by grade span, which will also promote smoother implementation.”
With such efforts, Governor Gavin Newsom is promising a COVID-19 safe environment for the young and old to continue their lives in the pandemic. With light at the end of the tunnel, there seems to be a time to come of normalcy.