A California state lawmaker proposed a bill on Monday that would add COVID-19 vaccinations to the state’s list of inoculations for grades K-12 in a move that would require all students to be fully vaccinated starting in 2023.
State Democratic Sen. Richard Pan announced the legislation during a Monday press conference.
— ProtectUs (@protectustwt) January 24, 2022
The new bill was first reported Monday by The Los Angeles Times.
“We need to make sure schools are safe so that all parents are comfortable sending their children to school,” Pan, also a pediatrician, said, according to the report. “And we want to keep schools open.”
A California lawmaker known for tightening restrictions on school vaccine laws will propose a bill Monday to close a loophole in the state’s requirement that children receive COVID-19 shots.https://t.co/u9USyQByu0 pic.twitter.com/uNqWQ0yVSv
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 24, 2022
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has also announced an executive order that will require students 12 and over to be vaccinated for COVID-19 once the vaccine is fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Newsom’s executive order allows for medical and religious exemptions. Pan’s new bill, however, does not currently include a religious exemption.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) approved a vaccine mandate that was to be applied for the spring 2022 semester. The mandate was later postponed until fall 2022, citing thousands of students who would not be in compliance in time for the spring semester.
In December, LAUSD Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly revealed more than 28,000 students had not yet complied in time for the spring semester, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the previous plan, students 12 years old and older would be required to shift to remote learning. The massive shift would have overwhelmed the district, according to the report.
“I felt like we were ending up with a situation in which those who complied would be the most negatively affected,” school board member Jackie Goldberg told the Times. “I think we have no choice.”
The new plan instead includes massive testing, including weekly testing of all students and staff during January.
The new bill is in addition to legislation proposed last week that would allow students 12 and older to be vaccinated for COVID-19 without parental consent. The Daily Wire previously reported:
A proposed California bill would allow children ages 12 and above to be vaccinated without parental consent.
California Democratic State Sen. Scott Wiener introduced the bill late Thursday in Sacramento.
“Giving young people the autonomy to receive life-saving vaccines, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or work schedules, is essential for their physical and mental health,” Wiener said, according to an Associated Press report.
“It’s unconscionable for teens to be blocked from the vaccine because a parent either refuses or cannot take their child to a vaccination site,” he added.
Wiener, whose district includes San Francisco and parts of San Mateo County, also announced the new legislation’s introduction on Twitter Friday.
“I introduced new legislation (#SB866) to lower the vaccine age of consent from 18 to 12. Unvaccinated teens are at risk, put others at risk & make schools less safe. They often can’t work, participate in sports, or go to friends’ homes. Let’s let teens protect their health,” he wrote.