LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — All eligible students age 12 and over in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes under a policy unanimously approved by the district’s Board of Education Thursday.
“As a parent with vaccinated kids, I’m happy my kids are as safe as they possibly can be,” said Jennifer Kenna.
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But some parents protested at the meeting Thursday, especially since the vaccine for children does not have full approval from the Food and Drug Administration yet.
“By the start of the spring semester, every student 12 and up who is eligible and doesn’t have an exemption will have received the vaccine—ideally by LA Unified. We’ll be providing it,” said LAUSD Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin.
The Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves over 600,000 students at more than 1,000 schools, already has one of the strictest coronavirus safety protocols in the country in place by requiring weekly COVID testing for all students and employees, regardless of vaccination status.
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The proposal requires “COVID-19 vaccinations for all students who access in-person instructional programs operated on district facilities, who are 12 years of age or older.” None of the vaccines currently available are approved for use in children younger than 12.
There is already a mandate in place that requires all LAUSD employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.
“I think we owe with the kids to return to a sense of normality and school to work toward a future where we’re not quarantining thousands of kids,” said Nick Melvoin, LAUSD Board Vice President. “Where kids don’t have to miss class or we’re not spending over $5 million a week on testing.”
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UTLA, which represents the district’s teachers, recently voiced support for a vaccine mandate for students.