State officials said they are putting a pause to the school vaccine mandate.
The California Department of Public Health made the announcement yesterday, adding the vaccine requirement for schools will not take effect until July of next year. Governor Gavin Newsom had announced in October they were going to roll out the mandate once the U.S. Food And Drug Administration approves the COVID vaccine for certain age groups. “CDPH strongly encourages all eligible Californians, including children, to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a statement. “We continue to ensure that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is driven by the best science and data available.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently fully approved for ages 16 and up, and there is only an emergency authorization in place currently for ages 5 to 15 - a lesser standard than full approval. The district’s mandate will require students 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the fall semester this year, unless they have an approved medical exemption or receive a rare extension. In terms of delaying the mandate, the district said 87% of eligible students had shown proof of vaccination, obtained a medical exemption or received an extension.