Los Angeles has become the first major school board to institute a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all eligible students who attend class in person.
The Los Angeles Unified School District unanimously approved a motion during a special meeting on Thursday mandating all students 12 years old and older to be fully vaccinated against the pandemic and have proof of vaccination uploaded its daily pass system by Jan. 10.
The motion states all students eligible for the vaccine must get their first shot by Nov. 21 and their second by Dec. 19. Those eligible who participate in in-person extracurricular programs must receive their first dose by Oct. 3 and their second by Halloween.
All other students, the motion says, must receive their first vaccine dose within the first 30 days after their 12th birthday and their second within eight weeks.
“Our goal is to keep kids and teachers as safe as possible, and in the classroom,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “A medical and scientific consensus has emerged that the best way to protect everyone in our schools and communities is for all those who are eligible to get vaccinated. This policy is the best way to make that happen.”
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the country with more than 1,302 education facilities for more than 664,000 students, according to school board data, which said it also has more than 60,000 employees.
Cecily Myart-Cruz, president of the United Teachers Los Angeles, said the union was “in full support” of the vaccine mandate for eligible students.
“Now more than ever, we must work together to keep our schools safer and help protect the most vulnerable among us, including children too young to be vaccinated,” she said in a statement. “Health and safety continue to be top of mind for our entire educational community.”
Myart-Cruz added that the union is also in negotiations with the school board over other safety proposals, including indoor and outdoor mask mandates, quarantine protocols and continued weekly testing of all students and staff and.
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