Members of the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board Voted 6-0 to Require Vaccines for Children Over 12 in Order to Attend LAUSD Schools

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Sanaya Gupta

The Los Angeles Unified School District has decided to mandate that students who are 12 and older must receive their vaccines to attend schools in the LAUSD. Students must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1, 2022. Other measures the district has been taking to prevent infections are mask requirements indoors and outdoors, requiring employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, 2021, and weekly coronavirus tests for students whether or not they are vaccinated. The district had initially announced in August that only employees would have to be vaccinated but recently decided that students would be included in this mandate.

The district has specific guidelines for this vaccine mandate as well. If students over the age of 12 are a part of any in-person extra curricular activities, then they must get their first dose by Oct. 3, 2021 and their second by Oct. 31, 2021. Students who are 12 must get their first dose by Nov. 21, 2021 and their second dose by Dec. 19, 2021. If students are not yet 12 years old, they must get their first dose no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday. They are required to get their second dose no later than eight weeks after their 12th birthday. 

This decision has brought much praise and also criticism and anger. A parent of a seventh grader who attends Girls Academic Leadership Academy, a school in the LAUSD has said they are, “Hugely disappointed in this decision.” Monica Garcia, an LAUSD school board member responded to this reaction by saying, “This action is about doing our job to be able to offer public schools that children can come to school and be safe.”

Interim Supt. Megan K. Reilly has said that this decision was necessary because, “we are seeing without a doubt that the vaccines are one of the clearest pathways to protecting individuals from getting severe sickness as well as for mitigating transmission of the COVID virus.”