Los Angeles has become the first city in the United States this Thursday to request, as of January 11, 2022, a mandatory vaccination for all children over 12 years of age. The decision, considered very controversial by some sectors, has been adopted this Thursday by the Board of Education of the city, which has the second largest school district in the country only behind New York. Vaccines now become one of the most important pillars in a strategy that already required weekly tests for teachers and students and the use of masks both indoors and outdoors. School employees must be vaccinated.
Megan Reilly, the Los Angeles school district interim superintendent, believes the new measure will affect about 225,000 students. School authorities estimate that among this group there are some 80,000 minors who have not yet been vaccinated. Those who do not do it by January will not be able to enter the schools and will have to follow the classes at home remotely.
Only the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is fully approved by the FDA for ages 16 and over. Minors from 12 to 16 can be immunized with this drug thanks to the decree that allows its emergency use. US President Joe Biden announced an ambitious plan on Thursday to force millions of Americans to be vaccinated. In his message, he asked the regulatory authorities to speed up the processes to be able to give the green light to vaccines for minors. “The vaccination requirements are nothing new. They work, ”said the president. According to the White House, half of the children of vaccine age nationwide have already been immunized.
In California, the first group to come forward for punctures will be athletes, who will be prevented from competing unless they have complete coronavirus vaccination schedules. Young people with recurring sports activities should receive their first dose no later than October 3 and the second before October 31.
All other students should receive the first dose by November 21. The second before December 19. On January 10, the deadline, the vaccination record must be uploaded to the Daily Pass application, which the district authorities have imposed to track infected minors and to control student access to schools once they have negative results from their weekly tests.
The Board of Education’s decision has also sparked controversy. Reilly does not rule out that the district is being sued by parents who do not want to vaccinate their children due to what they consider a lack of information about the long-term side effects that the drugs can leave. Some experts consider, however, that the law is on the side of the educational authorities in this case. On August 12, the Supreme Court left in place a vaccination requirement from Indiana University, which could become a precedent for schools and districts asking to vaccinate minors. Los Angeles has only been the first of several cities to follow in the coming weeks.
Subscribe here to the newsletter from EL PAÍS América and receive all the informative keys of the current situation of the region