October 1, 2021
Update on COVID-19 Protocols
Earlier this morning, Governor Newsom announced his intention to treat the COVID-19 vaccine similarly to the vaccines on the list already required by California law for students attending K-12 public or private schools. The Governor stated that this mandate would not apply until COVID-19 vaccines are given full authorization by the FDA, which could come as early as November for children 12 to 17 years old (with authorization for younger children likely in early 2022).
As we have seen throughout the pandemic, this information from the state could change or evolve differently as districts throughout the state grapple with how it is to be implemented.
Depending on the date of full FDA authorization, the Governor is targeting either January 1, 2022 or July 1, 2022 for adding COVID-19 to the list of required vaccines. He noted that there would need to be sufficient time for students to receive the vaccination prior to the “next school term.” He also stated that exemptions for both medical reasons and personal beliefs would be available for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Following full FDA approval, Governor Newsom suggested that the COVID-19 vaccine requirement would be implemented in two phases, with students ages twelve and older first and younger students following.
Please note that this announcement does not change the current California Department of Public Health Order requiring vaccination or testing for all K-12 staff working in school facilities by October 15, 2021. The Governor stated that the testing option will be eliminated for staff in the future so that the vaccination requirements for staff are at least as rigorous as those for students.
We thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these uncharted waters and additional changes. At this time, we cannot answer additional questions but look forward to providing more information as we gather it.