SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California has announced the nation's first coronavirus vaccine mandate for schoolchildren.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that the mandate won't take effect until the COVID-19 vaccine has received final approval from the U.S. government for various grade levels.
The government has given final approval for the vaccine for anyone 16 and older.
Once final approval comes for anyone 12 and older, the state will mandate vaccines for students in seventh through 12th grades.
“Once the FDA approves the vaccination in different cohorts starting with 12 and above, grades seven to 12, we will begin to apply that requirement in the next term, either Jan. 1 or July 1, whichever comes sooner,” said Newsom at a press conference.
Newsom said the state government wants to see all school staff get vaccinated during the first phase of vaccination requirements involving grades seven through 12.
The state will then mandate the vaccine in kindergarten through sixth grade once the federal government gives final approval for anyone 5 and older.
“Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work This is about keeping our kids safe and healthy,” tweeted Newsom.