Mandatory vaccinations for students in public schools are on the horizon

While+vaccination+rates+are+relatively+high+in+our+state%2C+the+near+50%25+of+the+population+that+is+not+fully+vaccinated+is+still+at+risk.

Renna Popli

While vaccination rates are relatively high in our state, the near 50% of the population that is not fully vaccinated is still at risk.

Gavin Newsom has set into motion a plan to make COVID-19 vaccinations a part of the list of required vaccines needed to attend California public schools. 

“I think it’s good that the vaccine is being required … it can help create a safe environment for all students,” said Inder Saini (‘23). 

If/when the COVID-19 vaccines are given full approval by the FDA (they are currently only approved for those ages 16 and older), Newsom has plans to require COVID vaccines for all those in attendance at California public schools (except for those with medical or religious exemptions). 

“If approved by the FDA … I personally would feel safer knowing that everyone is vaccinated … some people are concerned about being ‘tracked by the government’ and other crazy ideas but…it’s all about science,” said Aadya Reenivas (‘24). 

The California state government already requires public school students to be vaccinated against ailments such as measles and polio, so it is within states’ rights to make the vaccine required. However, some students think this is not a good idea. 

“I don’t think it’s fair for me to get forced to do anything that would affect only me. If you’re vaccinated and I’m not, you’re not at high risk of me spreading COVID to you, and if I’m at risk of you spreading COVID to me, well it shouldn’t affect you. It’ll only affect me,” said Jacob Cazella (‘23)

In addition to statewide laws, district-wide rules have been updated to better respond to our district’s COVID status. Masks are no longer required outdoors at PUSD high school campuses. 

“ I think is important [for] masks [worn] outdoors but if someone is walking alone with nobody around them then it’s fine to take it off … I feel somewhat safe at AV with its masks rules,” said Saini.