The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Tuesday it would delay enforcement of its student COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as over 30,000 students had not complied in time to meet the deadline, which was set for Friday.
The vaccine mandate would have required all students over the age of 12 to receive their second dose to keep attending classes in person following the winter break. Those who did not comply would have to either disenroll from LA public schools or attend classes virtually, ABC 7 reported.
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With the enforcement delay, students now have until the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year to receive both doses of the vaccine.
The interim district superintendent Megan Reilly said LA schools achieved a vaccination rate just shy of 87%, according to a press release noting the district considered delaying the mandate despite “high vaccination rates.”
Even with the high compliance numbers, the district still faced the prospect of forcing over 30,000 students into remote learning, which school board member Jackie Goldberg said would take “teachers out of in-person classrooms so they can instruct the much smaller number of unvaccinated students in the state-mandated online independent study program,” ABC reported.
The district still plans to implement the vaccine mandate, Goldberg said, adding, “This pandemic is not over, and LAUSD may delay the eligible student vaccination deadline but will uphold the requirement.”
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All students and staff must be tested weekly regardless of vaccination status, but beginning in February, only unvaccinated students will have to submit to weekly testing.