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The Los Angeles Unified School District voted Thursday on a proposal to require all students over age 12 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes.
The move makes LAUSD the first major school district in the nation to mandate student vaccinations.
The district is the second largest in the U.S., serving more than 600,000 students in 1,200 schools.
The order calls for students ages 12 and older to receive their first vaccine dose by Nov. 21 and their second dose by Dec. 19, prior to the start of the second semester. Students over age 12 who are participating in in-person extracurricular activities would need to be vaccinated even earlier, getting their first dose by Oct. 3 and their second dose by Oct. 31.
Medical exclusions would be allowed. A student would be required to have their first dose within 30 days of turning 12.
LAUSD has already encouraged students to get vaccinated.
Last month, the school district started sending mobile vaccination teams to middle and high schools to vaccinate all eligible students and staff members. Students 12-15 years old must bring an adult with them to be vaccinated, and students 16 and older may bring an adult or written consent.
Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly announced Aug. 13 that all school district employees would be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 and that all employees would have to undergo regular testing, regardless of vaccination status.
A recent tweet from Reilly said infection rates have been low since the school year started — 0.35% for students and 0.17% for staff. There have been three school-based outbreaks this school year, and all were contained, the tweet says.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says 58% of LAUSD’s students ages 12-18 have already been vaccinated. The U.S. government has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 12 and older.
The vaccine mandate for students was supported by the city teacher’s union, United Teachers Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times: “L.A. school officials order sweeping student vaccine mandate, a first by a major district”
Los Angeles Public Health Department: COVID-19 Vaccinations in LA County