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California to require all eligible students to get the COVID-19 vaccine

The press conference also highlights how the state is working to protect students, faculty and staff who have returned to in-person learning.
Credit: AP
FILE — In this June 26, 2020, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom displays a face mask as he calls on people wear them to fight the coronavirus, during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Newsom is facing the second recall of a governor in California history, and the last day to vote is Sept. 14, 2021. The coronavirus has been a dominating factor in the recall, which was first launched last year. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, Oct. 1 that all eligible students in the state will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This policy will go into effect once the FDA fully approves the COVID-19 vaccine.

It will apply to students age 12 and up. Newsom said that this mandate will go into effect as early as Jan. 1, 2022, and will take into effect the quarter following FDA approval. During the first phase, all school employees will be required to be vaccinated, too.

"We want to end this pandemic, we are all exhausted by it," Newsom said.

The government has given final approval for the vaccine for anyone 16 and older. Once final approval comes for anyone 12 and older, the state will mandate vaccines for students in seventh through 12th grades. The state will mandate the vaccine in kindergarten through sixth grades once the federal government gives final approval for anyone 5 and older.

Newsom's press conference also highlights how the state is working to protect students, faculty and staff who have returned to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year.

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"The vast majority of school districts are reporting that 95-100 percent of students are in-person, per data released this month," according to a statement announcing the press conference. 

When it comes to schools and vaccines, Los Angeles Unified School District was the first in the U.S. to issue a vaccine mandate for its eligible students this past September. In August, Gov. Newsom issued a vaccine mandate for all K-12 school staff.

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The announcement was streamed by ABC10. You can also watch the governor's press conference HERE

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