Kids will officially have to add another vaccination to their back-to-school list—at least in California. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the first-in-the-nation COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school children in the state. Kids in both public and private schools will have to get the jab if they’re eligible. It will take effect a semester after the FDA fully approves the vaccine for children over the age of 12, and seventh through twelfth-grade students will be prioritized. This could be as early as January 2022. Then, kids from kindergarten through the sixth grade will be phased in once the FDA approves them for vaccine eligibility. Currently, only people 16 and older have full approval from the FDA to be inoculated.
However, students who are not vaccinated will have the option of remote learning. Schools will also be responsible for enforcing the mandate.