California will require COVID-19 vaccinations for schoolchildren

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – California will be the first state in the nation to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for schoolchildren once a vaccine is approved for their age groups.

In August, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those 16 years old and up. Emergency use authorization has been granted for anyone between the ages of 12 and 15. Once the government grants full approval for anyone 5 to 11, every private and public school student will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they choose to be homeschooled.

California no longer grants “personal belief exemptions” for children entering child care or school. Medical exemptions can be issued through the California Immunization Registry. It’s unclear if the coronavirus vaccine will be subject to the same rules.

Once fully approved, the COVID-19 vaccine will join five others that are already required to enter kindergarten.

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