All eligible students ages 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 plan approved Thursday by the district's school board.
The board of the nation's second-largest school district called a special meeting to consider the mandate, which makes the LAUSD the first major school district in the nation to approve a vaccine requirement for students.
Twelve other districts in LA County are also considering such a mandate. More than 5,000 students in LA County have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year.
Culver City ok'd a similar policy last month for its 7,000 students.
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The sweeping and aggressive LAUSD plan requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all students who access in-person instructional programs operated on district facilities, who are 12 years of age and older. Students 12 and up who are part of sports and other extracurricular activities must be vaccinated by the end of October.
Others have until mid-December to meet the full vaccination requirement for attending on-campus classes and events.
People under age 12 are ineligible for COVID vaccines, since none of the currently available vaccinations have been approved for use in that age group. The Pfizer vaccine is approved on an emergency use basis for people aged 12-15, and it has full authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people 16 and over.
The plan exempts students with qualified and approved exemptions under LAUSD's existing immunization policies.
The plan will require students age 12 and older who take part in in-person extracurricular programs to have a first vaccine dose by Oct. 3, and their second no later than Oct. 31.
All other students aged 12 and up are required to receive their first dose by Nov. 21, and their second by Dec. 19. Other students would have to receive their first dose no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday, and their second dose no later than eight weeks after turning 12.
The mandate applies to all district students, along with charter school students on "co-located district school facilities.''
A group of about 25 to 30 people opposed to the mandate gathered outside the board meeting building
According to the county Department of Public Health, 60.8% of residents aged 12-15 in Los Angeles County have received at least one dose of vaccine as of Sept. 2.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing LAUSD teachers, recently announced its support for a vaccine mandate for students. The district already requires weekly COVID testing for students and employees, regardless of their vaccination status.
All district employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.
Los Angeles Unified was among the last large school district in the nation to reopen for classroom instruction during the pandemic. It was a move opposed for months by the teachers union, which cited health concerns.