State Announces New COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for K-12 Schools

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On Friday, October 1, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a phased approach for requiring  all California K-12 students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 that begins when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued full COVID-19 vaccine approval for younger age groups.  The Governor reiterated that exemptions for medical and/or religious and personal beliefs will still apply. The mandate has been divided into two phases: 

Phase One
Students 12 and older, in grades 7-12 must be fully vaccinated to attend school in-person upon full FDA approval of the COVID-19 vaccine.  At that time, all school staff must also be vaccinated and will no longer be able to test weekly instead of receiving the vaccine.  The mandate would begin at the start of a new semester after the FDA lifts its emergency use authorization and grants full and final approval to the vaccines for children 12 to 15.  For example, if the FDA issues full approval in January 2022 or in the months that follow, phase one of the mandate would take effect July 1, 2022 for seven to 12th grade students for the fall 2022 semester.

If federal officials act sooner, which is considered less likely, the mandate could potentially begin in January 2022.

Phase Two
Similarly, once the FDA has officially approved the vaccine for kindergarten through sixth grade students, they will also be required to be fully vaccinated to attend school in-person.  More information regarding this timing will be provided by the state when available. 

No Vaccines Yet for Younger Children
At this time, the FDA has issued full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 years and older. However, the vaccine continues to be under emergency use authorization for children 12 to 15 years of age. No vaccines are authorized yet for children five to 11 years of age.  Governor Newsom noted that California schoolchildren are already required to present proof of 10 vaccinations before they can attend school in person, including polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. This would be the 11th, he said.

IUSD Remains Vigilant   
IUSD continues to follow state and local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.  Face coverings must be worn by all students and staff while they are indoors at school and staff members currently must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or get tested on a weekly basis. The state has also issued quarantine guidance that varies based on vaccination status and whether one or both parties is wearing a mask.  More information about these guidelines and IUSD health and safety mitigation measures can be found by visiting

As we have more information, IUSD will continue to provide updates to our community.  Thank you in advance for your partnership and support.