Los Angeles Schools to Require COVID-10 Vaccine for Students 12 and Older, No Religious Exemption


The nation’s second-largest school district voted last week to mandate the COVID-19 vaccination for students aged 12 and older and while exemptions are available for some students, including medical exemptions and exemptions for homeless and migrant students, no religious exemption is available.

Los Angeles Unified School District has become the first major school district in the nation to require the vaccine for students.

The school district already had a mask requirement in place for all students and staffers in addition to weekly testing requirements for COVID-19 and vaccine requirements for all school employees.

“All students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are required to be vaccinated, excluding those with qualified exemptions or conditional admissions,” the district announced last week.

“A qualified exemption includes a medical exemption. Students may be conditionally admitted if they are in one of these groups: foster youth, homeless, migrant, military family, or has an IEP. State law does not recognize religious or personal belief exemptions for student immunizations.”

Students older than 12 have until October 3 to receive their first dose of the vaccine and must upload proof of vaccination to the district’s Daily Pass by January 10, 2022. The Daily Pass is a web app that the district developed to manage COVID-19 testing and health screening questions.

Only one COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer’s shot, is advised for patients between the ages of 12 and 17 and no vaccine is available yet for children younger than 12.

“Currently, students must receive the Pfizer vaccine if they are under the age of 18. Students 18 and older can receive Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccines to meet the requirement,” the district said. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given full approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for people age 16 and older. Approval for youths ages 12-15 is expected to follow soon.”

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