State Senator Richard Pan will introduce a bill today that would require all California schoolchildren to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Senator Pan (D-Sacramento) is set to announce a bill to add COVID-19 vaccines to California’s list of required vaccination requirements for attending K-12 schools. This decision bypasses Governor Gavin Newsom’s scaled-back mandate from last year. Pan’s legislation is the second reported major vaccine bill announced this year by a group of Democratic lawmakers whose focus is increasing vaccination rates and reducing misinformation. On Thursday, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 866, which would allow children 12 and older the choice to be vaccinated, including against COVID-19, without parental consent or knowledge. Both bills look to garner a bit of opposition from groups objecting vaccine mandates and the ability for parents to make medical decisions for their children - cases of protests and arrests over school mandate issues have already taken place across the country.
Actively there is an online petition calling for the loosening COVID-19 restrictions, specifically for school children. The online petition, which features an open letter to the Governor, implores local and state governments to acknowledge that vaccine mandates should not be a requirement but a choice to make amongst the people.
Current California mandates require all students at public and private institutions to receive the vaccine, but does not take effect until the FDA approves the vaccine for children ages 12 and older. Pan's bill would also allow the California Department of Public Health to mandate vaccines in the future without requiring personal belief exemption offers from the state.