On Friday, October 1st, Governor of California Gavin Newsom announced that starting possibly as early as January or July of 2022, students- elementary through high school level- in California will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to attend school. With more than 714 thousand currently dead from the virus in the United States alone (New York Times), this announcement does not come as a complete shock. Currently, there have been about 86.4% doses administered and of those recipients next to 71.7% of citizens are fully vaccinated in California (USAfacts). The remainder of California citizens, roughly 41% (USAfacts), can be assumed to be unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be among one of the many vaccines already required for students going to school; that list includes immunizations against: polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, mumps, measles, hepatitis B, rubella, and chickenpox. While there are religious and medical exemptions, those who wish to continue with their public schooling will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Something important to note, students currently enrolled in schools in the state of California with parents refuting the vaccine will by default, be hesitant about receiving the necessary doses. Gov. Newsom’s plan goes into effect as soon as FDA approval is granted, again possibly as soon as January 1st or July 1st, 2022.
When asked about the rather controversial topic, a few students at San Marcos, remaining anonymous, answered,“I think it will help our school and community in decreasing COVID cases. I think it’s important for us to get our vaccines to keep eachother safe, especially because people at our school aren’t the best at wearing their masks and this way we can just help try to get us as ‘back to normal’ as we can.”
Another student said, “It’s gonna be hard to get everyone on board because there’s a handful or stubborn people who don’t like being told what to do. It’s important for everyone to do their part and if it’s as simple as getting a vaccine and wearing our masks to get life back to normal we should all be willing to do our part.”
Pushback from this newly announced mandate will surely find its way to our community, and only time will tell how these changes will be taken, as well as the effect they will have on students, parents, and faculty, not just at our school, but statewide.