HomeSchools & YouthSMUSD Says It Will Follow State Vaccine Directive

SMUSD Says It Will Follow State Vaccine Directive

First published in the Oct. 14 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The San Marino Unified School District announced last week that it will follow a directive from Gov. Gavin Newsom requiring all students in public and private schools in California to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The directive is conditional on the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the vaccine for students in grades 7-12. 

“The earliest this is predicted to occur is July 1, 2022; however, it may be sooner,” said Acting Superintendent Linda de la Torre in a release. Younger students would be phased in after further approvals.
Once the FDA approves the vaccine, it will be added to the list of vaccines that students enrolled in California schools are required to receive.
“Should the vaccine be approved by Jan. 1, 2022, the dates may be moved up,” de la Torre said. “The state requirement for students ages 5-11 will not go into effect until the vaccine for this age group receives full FDA approval. Medical, religious and personal belief exemptions may be available, although there is some question as to whether the personal belief exemptions will be accepted due to the passage of [Senate Bill] 277.”
That 2015 state law removed personal belief as a reason for an exemption from the vaccination requirements for entry to private or public elementary or secondary schools in California.
“SMUSD has long believed that widespread vaccination in our school communities is a substantive way to combat the challenges of COVID-19, and we are actively prioritizing the health and safety of all students enrolled in our schools,” continued de la Torre. “Widespread vaccination may also alleviate some of the capacity issues for wide-scale COVID-19 testing, which is challenging for students, staff and parents. The district hopes that these new requirements provide a pathway to evaluate current masking requirements in schools, which remain a point of contention in most California schools.”
Shelley Ryan, president of the SMUSD Board of Education, said the district continues to follow county public health guidelines regarding vaccines.

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