L.A. School Board Mandates Vaccines for Students 12 and Older

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The Los Angeles Board of Education voted in favor of a vaccine mandate for individuals aged 12 and older, making Los Angeles Unified School District the nation’s second-largest school district to require vaccinating students against COVID-19.

With the unanimous vote, LAUSD students aged 12 and older are now required to receive their first vaccine dose by no later than Nov. 21 and their second dose by no later than Dec. 19, so they will enter the next semester fully vaccinated.

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Students involved with in-person extracurricular programs, including sports, will have to get their first vaccination shot by Oct. 3 and their second by Oct. 31.

Prior to the vote, which passed 6-0, all LAUSD students had already been required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, regardless of vaccination status. Teachers and staff are required to be vaccinated by Oct. 15 and undergo regular testing.

The proposal came amid concerns that L.A. County quarantine requirements were causing too many student absences. During the first week, 6,500 LAUSD students missed one of more days of school with about 3,000 students in isolation due to testing positive and 3,500 in quarantine due to contact tracing.

Interim superintendent Megan K. Reilly said in a news release in August: “The science is clear — vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19.”

LAUSD has 600,000 students enrolled. With the age requirement of 12 and older, 220,000 students are eligible for the vaccine.

Also on Thursday, President Biden announced massive “action plan” to address the latest rise in COVID cases due to the delta variant surge. Biden’s new sweeping requirements mandate that companies with over 100 employees will need to require workers to be fully vaccinated, or undergo weekly testing.

Large companies will be required to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that about 80 million adults in the U.S. remain unvaccinated, and that Biden’s “overarching objective here is to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans.”

Biden is also calling for large entertainment venues and arenas to require vaccinations or proof of a negative test for entry.

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