California to require COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible K–12 students

STORY BY MELODY XU, GRAPHIC BY ALLISON HUANG

The state of California will soon require all eligible K–12 students in the state to receive their COVID-19 vaccines for in-person school attendance, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today in a press conference.

The mandate, which will take effect in the semester following full Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccine for individuals between 12 and 16 years old, makes California the first state to take this step. Unvaccinated students will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing.

“While we’re proud of the fact that California has among the highest vaccination rates in America — now 77.5 percent of all eligible Californians received at least one dose — it’s not good enough,” Newsom said. “We have more work to do.”

Newsom said that the conversation about vaccines for children is familiar, citing vaccination requirements for students in both public and private schools like vaccines against the measles, mumps and rubella. 

“It’s the right thing to do to keep our most precious resource healthy and safe: our children here in the state,” Newsom said.

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