The Los Angeles Unified School District’s student COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be delayed until next year, authorities announced Tuesday.
The move aligns the nation’s second-largest school district with the state of California, which earlier announced it will delay Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for schoolchildren until 2023.
LAUSD had previously planned to enforce COVID-19 vaccinations’ mandate next fall.
The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education unanimously approved the delay, which was recommended by L.A. Unified’s new superintendent, Alberto Carvalho.
Carvalho cited high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low virus transmission rates on campuses and LAUSD’s COVID-19 safety measures in recommending delaying enforcing the vaccine requirement to July 1, 2023.
“Today’s vote shows that we are a science-based school district, and the health and safety protocols we adopt are influenced by the expert advice of our medical partners and public health officials,”Carvalho made the statement in a statement. “We know that students do best when learning in the classroom with their peers. Due to the high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low transmission rates in our schools and our nation-leading safety measures, we have preserved in-person learning in the safest possible environment.”
This delay does not affect the mandated vaccine for students. L.A. Unified employees remain required.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 78% of LAUSD students aged 12 or older have received both doses. reported.
All school employees are vaccinated.
“Today’s decision demonstrates that as circumstances change and evolve, the District will continue to make decisions about student safety and well-being in consultation with leading health experts and that are rooted in science,” Kelly Gonez, president of the Board, said.
Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said that the majority of the district’s students and staff are already vaccinated, and the action Tuesday will ensure that students continue to receive a safe and consistent education.