California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that school children will be required to take a COVID vaccine to attend in-person classes, once the FDA approves inoculations for their particular age group.
“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,” Newsom stated during a press conference.
“Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps, and more. Why? Because vaccines work. This is about keeping our kids safe and healthy,” the governor added in a separate statement posted to social media.
The federal government has already approved the coronavirus vaccine for individuals 16 and up. The vaccine has emergency authorization for people between the ages of 12 to 15.
In addition, Newsom said the state would also like to see school staff members receive the vaccination amid the first phase of vaccination requirements which involve grades seven through 12.
“We will be requiring staff, K-12 to be vaccinated, in that first phase of a two-phase application of this new directive,” the governor said. “The second phase of that application is everybody K-6. Again, that will be months away.”
“We’re not where we need to be, and so we hope this encourages folks to get vaccinated,” he added.
California will grant exemptions for medical reasons, plus religious and personal beliefs.