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