California student vaccine mandate: How parents are protesting

Bay Area

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KRON) — Parents who are against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for California students planned a demonstration on Monday.

Parents emailed KRON4 and said they are not happy with Governor Gavin Newsom telling them their children must get the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school.

California students will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine once the Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for middle and high school grades. At this time, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been given full FDA approval only for people 16 years of age and older.

“Vaccines are how we end this pandemic. The state already requires that students are vaccinated against a range of viruses such as measles, mumps, and rubella – there’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19. This is about protecting our children and school staff, and keeping them in the classroom – these measures are why California leads national trends in preventing school closures and achieving the lowest case rates in the country,” Newsom’s office said in a statement.

Once FDA approval is granted, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for students who are going to California schools in-person.

California officials anticipate the approval for grades 7-12 by July 1, 2022.

Many parents who emailed KRON4 are having their children stay home from school on Monday. Some parents are hosting rallies, with KRON4 learning of at least one in Alameda County and another in Sonoma County.

The superintendent of Sonoma County schools made the following statement:

“We understand that families and students may have strong emotions and questions about COVID-19 safety measures, including vaccine and testing requirements. However, keeping children home from school to protest a COVID-19 vaccine requirement announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as posts on some social media outlets are suggesting, would only result in more lost learning time for our students. Our school funding will not be impacted by these absences. But our children will be. Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school.”

Steven D. Herrington, Ph.D.

 Superintendent Herrington also said distance learning is not allowed as an option for parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids.

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