California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday announced that the state will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all students in school, once it is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Newsom said the mandate would begin with older children, age 12 and over, in grades 7-12. But it will not take effect right away, given that he is waiting until the FDA gives full approval to the vaccine in that age group, rather than the current emergency use authorization. The mandate could either begin in the January school term or in Fall of 2022, depending on when the FDA acts.
“I believe we will be the first state in America to move forward with this mandate and requirement, but I do not believe by any stretch of the imagination we will be the last state,” Newsom told reporters at a press conference.
He said there would be medical and religious exemptions to the mandate.
The move to mandate vaccines for students in schools comes as the Biden administration makes a push for vaccine mandates more generally, including a rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is vaccinated. (Read more from “Liberal State to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine for School Kids” HERE)