Los Angeles Mandates Covid-19 Vaccines for Students 12 and Older
(Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, will require students ages 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend in-person classes.
The district -- with almost 630,000 pupils -- reopened classrooms on Aug. 16 with strict Covid protocols, including masking and weekly testing. The mandate approved by the board on Thursday requires students to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, but offers exemptions for medical and other reasons. Teachers are required to be inoculated by Oct. 15, as well as undergo regular testing.
“A medical and scientific consensus has emerged that the best way to protect everyone in our schools and communities is for all those who are eligible to get vaccinated,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said in an emailed statement. “This policy is the best way to make that happen.”
With a new school year underway, students and their parents are confronting a patchwork of local policies as the U.S. battles a new wave of infections due to the rapidly spreading delta variant. Many districts in Florida and Texas have rebelled against bans by Republican Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis on masking. New York City, home to the nation’s largest public school district, will reopen schools on Monday with strict protocols that stop short of a student vaccine mandate.
Among LAUSD staff and students, 1,357 have recently tested positive for Covid and were in isolation as of Sept. 8. No schools are closed due to infections, according to data from the district. Almost three-quarters of the LAUSD student population is Latino, a community that was disproportionately hard hit by Covid deaths and economic losses during the pandemic.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.