Thu, 09 Dec 2021

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Across California, the most populous state in the United States, some parents kept their children home from school and gathered Monday to protest the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students.

According to a plan issued by Governor Gavin Newsom early this month, California schoolchildren who attend in person will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, once it's fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and enforcement could begin as early as January.

Newsom also said the mandate will add the COVID-19 shot to the list of ten vaccines that children already have to get to go to school, like vaccines for the measles or mumps.

However, Newsom, the only governor in the country to announce a vaccine requirement for students, has been targeted by some parents and anti-vaccine groups who insisted that parents should make decisions on all shots for their kids.

The organizers of Monday's protests planned rallies across the state and called on parents to keep their children home or pull them from class as a form of protest.

Videos posted by local news channels showed that a crowd of about two thousand from all across the state converged on the capitol Monday afternoon, but in other cities only dozens to over one hundred people took part in similar rallies at each location.

The absentee rate in some school districts rose on Monday, according to CBS 13 news channel, but overall, the majority of kids showed up.

Some parents argued students had already been required to get immunized for ten other serious diseases in order to attend school in California.

"You typically sign an agreement when your child attends any public school here in the United States that your child will be vaccinated," Oakland parent Michael Avila told ABC 7 news. "And there's typically a list of vaccinations/immunizations that your child is required to have."

"It disappoints me that people are continuing to not take the vaccine seriously," said San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Canepa. "As a parent, you want to make sure that your kid is in a safe school setting."

The FDA has fully approved a COVID-19 vaccine for people 16 and older and in the next three weeks, federal authorities will discuss making smaller-dose versions available to children between the ages of 5 and 11, the KTLA news channel reported.

Some school districts in the state have already announced student vaccine mandates.

At Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest district, all students 12 and older will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes in person. The children are required to get their first dose no later than Nov. 21, and the second by Dec. 19.

Culver City Unified was the first in the region to implement a vaccine mandate for eligible students. Oakland Unified and San Diego Unified have also announced a similar rule for students attending in-person classes.

More San Diego News

Access More

Sign up for San Diego News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!