“California will be the first US state to introduce mandatory COVID-19 immunization for students aged 12 and over,” Gavin Newsom said Friday. The change will take effect after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives full approval to vaccinate children.
“Our schools already require vaccinations against measles, mumps and other diseases. Why? Because vaccines work. It’s about keeping our kids safe and healthy, ”he told Newsom on Twitter.
California authorities have previously introduced an obligation to vaccinate school workers or take weekly tests. Thanks to this, America’s most populous state has the lowest number of closed schools in the country, Newsom says.
“We urge other states to follow our example to keep children safe and contain the spread of COVID-19,” the governor said in a statement.
It is not yet clear when exactly the COVID-19 vaccination will be included in the mandatory list. For now, the FDA has given full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, but only for people over the age of 16. For children aged 12-15, conditional agency approval still applies. Experts expect full approval to be granted in late fall, as well as conditional approval to use Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged 5-11.