California delays public school vaccine mandate

California’s response to COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Nik Huber and Christan Reams

Ensuring time for the successful implementation of the vaccine, California will not approve the requirement until the FDA offers full approval, which will be July 2023 at the earliest.

As of April 14, 2022, the vaccine requirement for COVID-19 in schools is not yet FDA approved. Announced last October by the state of California, the FDA approved adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of those required for in-person schools. 

“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 California Department of Public Health statement on timeline for COVID-19 vaccine requirements in school.

The SMARTER Plan is the next phase of California’s COVID-19 response; this plan aims to better handle the COVID-19 virus as it fluctuates in upcoming years. The SMARTER Plan stands for Shots, Masks, Awareness, Readiness, Testing, Education, and Rx. 

Some students have voiced concerns about the delay.

“The vaccine mandate should be applied as soon as possible, the vaccine for COVID-19 helps the user and those around them with the spread and side affects of getting the disease,” freshman Eilan Peretz said.

“We continue to ensure that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is driven by the best science and data available. Under the Governor’s SMARTER plan, California is making informed decisions on how to further protect students and staff, to keep children safely in classrooms,” Dr. Aragón said.

For more information on the timeline for COVID-19 vaccine requirements in schools, go here.