California has been the first state in the nation to implement school masking and staff vaccination measures, and now California will also be the first to implement adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccination requirements needed to attend school.
The bill is called “Keep Schools Open and Safe Act,” and it would require children ages five and up to get vaccinated to attend school.
The vaccine mandate would take effect in January 2023. Medical exemptions will be allowed.
If the bill passes, it would override Governor Gavin Newsom’s statewide mandate. Governor Newsom’s mandate requires students in grades seven through 12 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are doing in-person learning. Although Governor Newsom’s mandate currently excludes children whose parents don’t want them vaccinated, the new bill would remove personal beliefs as an exemption from getting the vaccine.
Kern Sol News was able to ask parents and community members what they think about this new vaccine mandate and this is what some of them had to say:
- “I just believe it’s unfair to make a vaccine mandatory. I believe it should be optional for the parents and students,” said Lizbeth Fernandez, mother.
- “I would say that decision is up to the parents to choose if they want their child to be vaccinated or not. The purpose of the vaccine now is not to stop the spread but rather make the symptoms not be so severe. Regardless, the kids are bound to get exposed or even get sick. I do not think it should be a requirement as of now,” said Gabriela Rios.
- “I am against it because it’s getting the younger generation used to following the norm and you can still spread COVID if vaccinated,” said Antonio Zamudio.
- “Kids have been required to be vaccinated against all types of stuff forever and now we are upset about it?” said Fernanda Mendoza, mother.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists one of the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as: “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines can also help prevent serious illness and death.”
Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine creates an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
Currently, the CDC recommends the Pfizer vaccine for those ages five and over, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those 18 and over.
The Pfizer booster is recommended for those 12 and over and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster is recommended for those 18 and over.