As LA Schools Backtrack On COVID Vaccine, Dozens More Districts Push To Mandate It

At least 40 California schools have tried to implement their own vaccine mandate ahead of the state mandate that will take effect next fall.

As omicron rages throughout California, some schools have already added another layer of defense: At least 40 California districts are or soon will require vaccinations for staff or students, or both. 

Some of these policies are stricter than Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plans to require vaccination for all K-12 staff and students before the next school year, according to a CalMatters investigation. While large districts like San Diego Unified and Los Angeles Unified have garnered national attention for their independent mandates, several dozen have gone largely unnoticed by state and national media.

Neither the California Department of Education nor any other agency is keeping track of all individual district policies. CalMatters contacted all 940 public school districts to create the first living database recording the state patchwork of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for schools. 

County education offices must follow local health guidelines, which the state Department of Public Health ultimately oversees, state education department information officer Scott Roark wrote in an email to CalMatters.

But public health officials aren’t tracking this information either. The California Department of Public Health “does not maintain official records about the actions of local school districts for which there is no formal requirement to report to the state,” the office of communications said in an email to CalMatters.

“I am surprised that there is no central body that regulates school districts,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics and of epidemiology at Stanford University. “This clearly isn’t good public health policy.” 

Information collected from over 630 school districts reveals that over 1 million students are already affected by some kind of mandate, independent of the upcoming statewide rule. Just about 300 districts’ administrators didn’t respond to several attempts to contact them; 10 refused to comment. 

Uneven vaccine mandates

The scope of the mandates varies: Some apply only to new employees, athletes or children attending overnight school trips. Others affect the entire school population.

The uneven requirements across districts are a product of legal concerns, minimal state guidance and local politics. 

“There is no way you can come up with an argument where a patchwork approach to anything is going to be helpful for public health,” Maldonado said. “Viruses don’t look at borders…You can have a massive outbreak triggered in a small district that can cross borders.”

Click here to read the full article at CalMatters

Comments

  1. First of all it isn’t a vaccine. It is a flu shot because you need a booster. How many booster shots have you ha since you got your polio or smallpx vaccine. If any thing it does protect more from dying but NOT from getting the virus. And look at Florida. They protected the most vulnerable (the oldsters) and kept the Xtate open. Their death rate was n o differest than any other similar State.
    And the pandemic is OVER!. The UK just stopped all of its “mandates” on January 27th. ANd now we have Bumble Stiltskin sending out millions of N 95 masks and test kits. Talk about behind the curve!!

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