Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom will require any eligible K-12 students in California to get the COVID-19 shot. Students who don’t comply, whether they are enrolled in private or public school, will be barred from in-person instruction.
“CA will require our kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine to come to school. This will go into effect following full FDA approval. Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work. This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy,” Newsom wrote in a tweet.
BREAKING: CA will require our kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine to come to school.
This will go into effect following full FDA approval.
Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work.
This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 1, 2021
Emboldened by California voters’ recent support which spared him from getting recalled and replaced, Newsom said the first-of-its-kind mandate will go into effect by the fall of 2022. Only those who are approved for a medical or well-established personal or religious belief will be allowed an exemption.
“I believe, we will be the first state in America to move forward with this mandate and requirement, but I do not believe — that by any stretch of the imagination — that we will be the last state. In fact, I expect other states to follow suit,” Newsom said.
While the directive is expected to go into effect for students 12 and older once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives full approval to the vaccine for teens, Newsom warned that full approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for even younger students would warrant an expansion of his mandate.
While the governor awaits the FDA’s approval for children under 12, he continues to promote his statewide K-12 indoor mask mandate. In June, the state updated its mask guidance to allow fully vaccinated adults to ditch their face coverings. Children in the state, however, were still required to wear a mask in school whether they got the vaccine or not. Newsom reversed his decision for fully vaccinated adults the next month, after the CDC also flip-flopped on its mask guidance.
Scientific studies are clear that COVID-19 transmission among children is much lower than among adults but that hasn’t stopped Democrats such as Newsom, the Biden administration, the CDC, and teachers unions from pushing for students and vaccinated teachers to mask up for the fall semester.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.