Los Angeles school district approves vaccine mandate for students age 12 and older, marking a first among major US school districts

Los Angeles is the first major school system to approve a mandate for vaccines for students aged 12 and above.
The Los Angeles Unified Schools District unanimously approved the proposal.

Before August 1, the school board had mandated that all teachers and staff receive vaccines.

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Los Angeles Unified School district (LAUSD) approved a mandate to immunize students aged 12 and older. This makes it the first major US school district to adopt such a policy.

The LA school board overseeing the second-largest district school in the country, unanimously voted Thursday afternoon to approve the requirement.

Megan Reilly, Interim Superintendent LAUSD, stated that vaccination could help ensure that the district's schools remain open while the Delta variant coronavirus continues its rise in the US.

CNN reports that Reilly stated, "As the 2nd-largest District in the United States, with a richly varied student population, we know that the impact and experiences with COVID-19 vary among our students and families and that there are various levels of comfort or discomfort with the vaccine, and other Covid safety measures."

"Alongside these truths our charge remains clear: To provide students the best education possible, including the many benefits associated with in-person learning," Reilly said.

According to a report from the board of education, students 12 years old and older will need to be vaccinated with COVID-19 by November 21st and their second dose by December 19. The report states that students participating in extracurricular activities in person will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31 and vaccinated by Oct. 3.

According to CNN, Jackie Goldberg, a school board member, stated that "It's our moral, ethical and political responsibility to protect children under 12 who cannot get protected in any other way."

CNN reports that the proposal would affect approximately 225,000 students. CNN also estimates that around 80,000 students are currently not vaccinated. The mandate will allow people with "qualified and authorized exemptions" to opt-out of the requirement.

On August 16, LAUSD students resumed in-person learning. The LAUSD announced on August 13 that all district teachers and staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some parents may push back

Nick Melvoin, a school board member, stated that he received opposition from parents after the approval of the student vaccination mandate. This was according to The New York Times.

Angelica Ramos, a parent, stated to The Times that she would prefer her children be enrolled in charter schools or home-schooled than vaccinated.

Ramos stated that "it shouldn't be compulsory." Ramos stated, "It shouldn't be mandatory."

CNN's Carla Franca, a parent of LAUSD, stated that "we must be the ones who determine for our children, and not the district." "If you're going to send your children to the slaughter fields, then you can, but you don't have to decide.

Franca stated, "When you have your children, you can make your own crazy choices."

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, praised LAUSD's move to implement the mandate for vaccines when she was asked by CNN on Thursday.

Psaki stated, "Good for them."