The COVID-19 vaccine will not be part of immunization requirements for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students in the 2021-2022 school year.
Under recommendation from Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, the LAUSD board voted to align itself with the state, which ruled to delay the COVID-19 vaccine school mandate until it is FDA approved for all school-grade ages.
“Today’s vote shows that we are a science-based school district and the health and safety protocols we adopt are influenced by the expert advice of our medical partners and public health officials,” Superintendent Carvalho said. “We know that students do best when learning in the classroom with their peers. Due to the high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low transmission rates in our schools and our nation-leading safety measures, we have preserved in-person learning in the safest possible environment.”
Even if the FDA were to approve the vaccine in the near future, LAUSD would not implement the requirement any sooner than July 1, 2023 for the following school year.
The FDA has given authorization for children as young as 5 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but it has only received full approval for ages 16 and older.
“CDPH strongly encourages all eligible Californians, including children, to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” California Department of Public Health Director Tomás J. Aragón said in April. “We continue to ensure that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is driven by the best science and data available.”
In March, LAUSD ended its mask mandate on school grounds, aligning itself with the state on that front, as well. While not required, both the school district and public health officials continue to “strongly recommend” mask usage as COVID-19 continues to spread through communities, albeit at slower rates.