(AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the nation’s first mandate for schoolchildren, a plan to have all elementary through high school students get the shots once the vaccine gains final approval from the U.S. . The government has fully approved the for those 16 and over but only granted emergency authorization for anyone 12 to 15. Newsom’s office said that once federal regulators for that group, the state will require students in seventh through 12th grades to get vaccinated in public and private schools. The state will only need the for kindergarten through sixth-grade students after the federal government approves anyone 5 to 11.
The announcement comes as county Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.have dropped markedly in the last month. But Newsom has been emboldened after easily defeating a recall effort the previous month following a campaign where he emphasized his commitment to to end the pandemic. In Los Angeles County — the nation’s largest, with more than 10 million residents — just 1.7% of for the virus have it, and daily infections are down by half in the last month when most kids went back to school. “These numbers are deficient given that 3,000-plus schools are now open countywide,”
She noted that though the number of school outbreaks has increased slightly in recent weeks, the overall number is negligible and related mainly to youth sports. The would take effect the semester after the federal government grants final approval. If it comes in January, the commission will take effect in July. Students would begiven , but the state’s rules for applying those exemptions have not been written yet. Any to take the vaccine would be forced to complete an independent study course at home.
Until now, Newsom had left the decision onto local school districts, leading to various orders across some of the state’s largest districts. Los Angeles and Oakland Unified have , but Oakland’s order has not set a deadline for when students must comply. LA . 20. Earlier this week; the San Diego Unified that staff and students age 16 and older be fully vaccinated by Dec. 20. Newsom has made it a point of pride to be the first in the nation to issue various pandemic-related . In August, California became the first state in the U.S. to require all K-12 public and private school teachers and staff to get testing. Newsom also issued a earlier in the summer for indoor classes that applies to all teachers and students.