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California Superintendent of schools applauds vaccine mandate

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond applauded Governor Newsom’s action that would add the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school attendance—such as measles, mumps, and rubella—as stated by the Health and Safety Code. It’s anticipated the COVID-19 vaccine mandate would be fully implemented to grades seven through twelve on July 1, 2022. A vaccine mandate for kindergarten through sixth grades would follow at a later date. A vaccine mandate for all kindergarten through grade twelve staff is scheduled to be implemented at the same time as students in grades seven through twelve.

“I have no doubt that today’s announcement by the Governor will lead to safer schools and safer communities,” stated Thurmond. “I look forward to working with the Governor, his administration, school districts, and school communities across the state to implement this important change.”

Superintendent Thurmond has traveled up and down the state visiting with school and state leaders as well as community partners to promote vaccines for all eligible individuals, especially those in the hardest-hit communities. This includes reaching to close to 500,000 Californians via virtual town hall.

“In the coming weeks, I will be launching a public service campaign to expand vaccination rates across the state,” said Thurmond. “California is already leading the way in combatting this virus, with one of the lowest COVID-19 test positivity rates in the country; the safety measures we take collectively now in our schools will be pivotal to how our communities emerge from the pandemic, and this is especially true for our most vulnerable communities. COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection possible that will allow students to get back to enjoying what they love most, including school sports, clubs, and social events. We look forward to working with the California Department of Public Health to support this effort that will keep schools safely open. Thanks to public health measures, our communities have opened up, we have been able to hug loved ones, and can now gather again. Let’s not lose that progress. The Governor’s action comes at the right time.”

 

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