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COVID: Bill would require all California students to be vaccinated

January 24, 2022

A California lawmaker will propose a bill Monday to close a loophole in the state’s requirement that children receive COVID-19 shots.

State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, announced Monday, Jan. 24, legislation he’s sponsoring that would prohibit families from being able to claim a personal belief exemption when it comes to California’s COVID-19 student vaccine requirement, a mandate that could take effect as early as this fall.

It would require all school children ages 5 and up to be vaccinated, exceeding the requirements of Governor Gavin Newsom’s mandate following a record-breaking, omicron-fueled outbreak in schools as kids returned from winter break.

The bill, named the “Keep Schools Open and Safe Act,” would add the Covid-19 vaccine to California’s list of required inoculations for any child attending a California K-12 school.

If the bill is passed, it would supersede Newsom’s mandate, which only requires the vaccine for grades 7-12 and can be refused by parents through a personal beliefs exemption.