California to be first US state to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for children

by mcardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News


Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that California will become the first U.S. state to mandate statewide COVID-19 vaccinations for school-aged children.

During a press conference Friday, the Democratic governor said that the mandate could go into effect as early as January of 2022 for children in grades seven through 12, pending FDA approval. Vaccine requirements for children under 12 will be phased in following FDA approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for that age group. 

“I believe we will be the first state in America to move forward with this mandate and requirement, but I do not believe by any stretch of the imagination we will be the last state,” Newsom said.

The move comes as the Biden administration continues to push for nationwide vaccine mandates. Earlier this month, President Biden issued expansive COVID-19 vaccination requirements, including the requirement that businesses with 100 or more employees force workers to receive the vaccine or submit to weekly testing, affecting around 80 million Americans.

Employees of health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid are also required to take the jab or risk losing their jobs, while employees and contractors who do business with the federal government are required to receive the vaccination with no option for weekly testing. 

While speaking with reporters, Newsom defended his decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for children in school, comparing it to similar requirements for measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations. “There’s no reason why we wouldn’t do the same for COVID-19,” he said.

Newsom went on to tout the fact that California was the first state to impose mask mandates in schools and vaccinations for school employees, including teachers, custodians, and bus drivers, and accused other states of “not following the science,” in terms of issuing similar requirements. 

When asked by a reporter what the consequences will be for school employees and students who refuse the vaccine, the governor replied that vaccinations are “required for employment,” without responding directly to the question as it relates to children. Pressed again, he replied “As it relates to the rules and requirements, they’re well-established, there’s nothing novel about the consequences. Quite the contrary, they’re well-established. And this is, I think, important, and in many ways, it’s the most predictable announcement, throughout this pandemic, isn’t it? Because in so many ways, it’s the most familiar conversation. Because, every parent has had this conversation since they brought their kids into school, public or private. They have to be vaccinated.”