LA to issue vaccination warrant for students

Los Angeles is set to become the first major school district in the country to impose coronavirus vaccines on students 12 and older who ...


Los Angeles is set to become the first major school district in the country to impose coronavirus vaccines on students 12 and older who attend in-person classes.

The elected district school board will meet on Thursday afternoon to vote on the measure, which should pass with broad support. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the country, serving more than 600,000 students, and the mandate could set an important national precedent.

Students should receive their first dose of vaccine by November 21 and their second dose by December 19, in order to start the next semester fully inoculated. Those who turn 12 after these dates will have 30 days after their birthday to receive their first injection.

Students participating in in-person extracurricular activities should receive both injections by the end of October. The resolution mentions “qualified and approved exemptions” to the mandate, but does not offer details.

The district offers a online independent study option for those who choose not to take the in-person learning this year, but so far only one small percentage students chose it.

The months between now and the entry into force of the vaccine requirement will allow the district to conduct awareness and education programs for families. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Health, 58 percent 12 to 18-year-olds in the district have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Los Angeles Unified operates school immunization clinics and has the nation’s largest academic testing program, examining all students and staff weekly. Masks are required for everyone on campus, both indoors and outdoors, and staff must be vaccinated unless they qualify for one of the limited exceptions for conditions serious medical and sincere religious beliefs.

“Our goal is to keep children and teachers as safe as possible and in the classroom,” said Nick Melvoin, a member of the Los Angeles School Board, in a written statement expressing support for the resolution. “A medical and scientific consensus has emerged that the best way to protect everyone in our schools and communities is to have everyone who is eligible vaccinated. “

A key group supporting the student immunization mandate is the city’s teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Since the start of the pandemic, the group has been pushing for strict security measures and over the past academic year a longer period of distance learning. Los Angeles and other districts in California were among the last in the country to reopen classrooms, and the union keep asking for more aggressive quarantines for people exposed to the virus.

The first data on infections in Los Angeles schools this year have been very reassuring. According to a Los Angeles Times Tracker based on district data, 1,620 active cases of Covid-19 had been identified in schools as of September 6; only 5 were linked to transmissions on campus, in two schools.

Whereas it is usually indicates, not individual districts, which require childhood immunizations as a prerequisite for schooling, Los Angeles is not the first California district to implement such a policy. The Culver City school system, a small district also in Los Angeles County, announced a student mandate last month, and other districts in California are considering similar requirements.

Such efforts are likely to attract legal challenges.

The Food and Drug Administration has currently approved emergency vaccines for children ages 12 to 15, but is expected to grant full approval in the coming weeks, which could pave the way for more school mandates nationwide .

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Newsrust - US Top News: LA to issue vaccination warrant for students
LA to issue vaccination warrant for students
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