Los Angeles Unified School District set to vote on mandating Covid-19 vaccines for eligible students

Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, is set to vote on mandating Covid-19 vaccines for all eligible students in a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

“By the start of spring semester, every student 12 and up who is eligible and doesn’t have an exemption will have received a vaccine,” LAUSD school board member Tanya Ortiz Franklin told CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL, adding the district will be providing the vaccines.
According to a report included with an online copy of Thursday’s agenda, all students who are 12 or older and are attending school in-person would be required to have received their first dose no later than November 21 and be fully vaccinated by December 19. Students participating in extracurricular activities in-person would need to be fully vaccinated by the end of October.
      The report says “students with qualified and approved exemptions and conditional admissions” would be excluded from the mandate, but it doesn’t provide additional detail about potential exemptions.
        LAUSD, which serves more than 600,000 students and began school on August 16, would be the first major school district in the United States to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for its eligible students. A smaller district in Los Angeles County, Culver City Unified School District, announced in August it planned to require eligible students to be vaccinated by mid-November.
          Franklin told CNN’s John Berman the district is “trying to do everything we possibly can to keep our schools safe,” pointing to the Delta variant as a threat to the community.
          “Children are at risk from the Delta variant in ways we didn’t see last semester,” she said, “and our responsibility to children and our communities is their safety and well-being.”
          The vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech is the only one available in the US authorized for emergency use for children between 12 and 15, though the vaccine has received full approval by the US Food and Drug Administration for people 16 and older.
          But that’s not an issue for the LAUSD school board, Franklin told CNN, saying, “We understand the benefits far outweigh the risks, and so the emergency authorization really isn’t weighing into our decision.”
          “It is about the access,” she added, “and that we can provide it in this country to our children, and we want to do that as quickly as possible.”
            Board member Jackie Goldberg said the mandate was “to save lives,” KCBS/KCAL reported.
            “That’s why there isn’t measles and mumps and rubella in our schools — because we vaccinate and we require it.”

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