A California lawmaker has ended his effort to pass a vaccination mandate for college students.

A bill that would have required all California students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, eliminating a personal belief exemptio...


A bill that would have required all California students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, eliminating a personal belief exemption that has been used to circumvent similar mandates, was withdrawn by its legislative sponsor on Thursday.

Another term, from Governor Gavin Newsom, will still take effect once a vaccine is officially approved for children. But contrary to the governor’s mandate, the bill introduced by state senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician, would have allowed only medical exemptions.

Dr Pan, who led a previous toughening of vaccine laws in California, had struggled to garner support this year from fellow Democrats, who expressed concern over political backlash as coronavirus rates across the country ‘State are relatively low. They feared the anger of the state’s anti-vaccine lobby was accelerating a worrying drop in student numbers and complicate the party’s chances in the 2022 elections.

Last month, a vaccination mandate for California employers was also set aside by his godfather when Congresswoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat, cited falling case rates and opposition from organized labor.

Kevin Gordon, a longtime lobbyist for California school districts, said this week that school mandates for Covid inoculation “are in trouble” due to legislative deadlines and an impending election.

“There is a kind of Covid mitigation fatigue,” Mr Gordon said. “People are just done with it now.”

Dr Pan said in a press release that vaccination was “the cornerstone of safer schools and neighborhoods during Covid,” but that he withdrew the bill because childhood vaccination rates were low and the state needed to focus on improving access to vaccines.

Eighty percent of adults in California are fully vaccinated – which does not include a booster – against the coronavirus, but only 35% of children aged 5 to 11 have received injections. Seventy-two percent of children aged 12 to 17 are fully immunized.

“Until children’s access to Covid vaccination is greatly improved, I believe that a statewide policy requiring Covid vaccination in schools is not the immediate priority,” said said Dr. Pan.

The law project, SB 871had not advanced since February.

The Governor’s vaccination mandate for students, which is contingent on full Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccine for affected age groups, will not become effective until July 2023, his office said Thursday. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is fully approved for ages 16+. For ages 5 to 15, FDA cleared only for emergency use.

Governor Newsom’s term will require a coronavirus vaccine for students in grades seven through 12, and then for those in kindergarten through sixth grade, once it is fully authorized for all children in those groups.

California Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a statement about the mandate delay that the state encourages everyone to get vaccinated.

“We continue to ensure that our response to the Covid-19 pandemic is guided by the best scientific and available data,” said Dr Aragón. He added that “California is making informed decisions about how to further protect students and staff, to keep children safe in classrooms.”

When Mr. Newsom, who is running for re-election, announced the mandate which will add the coronavirus vaccine to a list of mandatory school vaccines, state law required the inclusion of a personal belief exemption. It can only be eliminated by legislative action.

Shawn Huber contributed report.

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Newsrust - US Top News: A California lawmaker has ended his effort to pass a vaccination mandate for college students.
A California lawmaker has ended his effort to pass a vaccination mandate for college students.
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