After managing to make it through his recall election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that the COVID-19 vaccine will be mandated for students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. This is the first vaccine mandate for K-12 school children in the U.S
Unvaccinated students will not be allowed to attend school in person once the mandate takes effect and the Food & Drug Administration has fully approved the vaccine for younger age groups. So far, the FDA has only approved the Pfizer two-shot mRNA vaccine for those 16 and older.
Gov. Newsom tried to justify the statewide requirement by saying that it only adds to a well-established list of vaccinations and regulations that have been advanced by the legislature, including vaccines for measles and mumps. He emphasized how schools require vaccines because “they work” and announced that the mandate would start with grades 12 and above, 7-12, and then the rest.
“Once the FDA approves the vaccination in different cohorts starting with 12 and above, grades seven to 12, we will begin to apply that requirement in the next term, either Jan. 1 or July 1, whichever comes sooner,” Newsom said.
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Back in August, Newsom announced that all school staff must provide proof of full vaccination or be tested for COVID-19 at least once a week. The schools are required to be in full compliance with the state by Oct. 15. He said he would like to see school staff members receiving the vaccination with the first phase of vaccination requirements, which involves grades 7-12.
The second phase of the vaccine initiative will cover everybody K-6. He said that “we’re not where we need to be” but hopes that this “encourages” folks to get vaccinated.
Democratic governors continue to push extreme vaccine mandates on young people despite their low risks for complications, hospitalizations, or dying from the virus. Out of the 687,172 COVID-19 deaths, just 478 patients were 17 or younger. In New York City, just 0.1%-2.0% of all child COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalizations. The most commonly affected individuals are those who are middle-aged and older adults, with about 80% of the COVID-19 related deaths being people ages 65 and older.
Many studies have even compared the risk of COVID-19 and the flu in kids, adding that the flu is often more deadly to children than the COVID-19 virus has proven to be. The young people who’ve been exposed to COVID transmission transmit the virus at low rates and recovers at high rates. The studies have even suggested that a vaccine mandate in young kids is highly unnecessary and that the science doesn’t pan out as the FDA grants full approval.
Critics have lashed out at Newsom over the mandate, adding that he should be focused on protecting the people at a higher risk instead of targeting California’s children. He has defended his vaccine mandate by telling people, “If you’re going to attack anyone, attack me.”
Some have questioned if the medical exemption is enough to cover young children since the vaccine provides no negligible benefits to them. Other workplaces have denied religious and medical exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine, with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul telling people that “God wants you to be vaccinated.”
Children are becoming increasingly resilient to COVID-19, especially when exposed to natural antibodies. Some studies have even found that natural antibodies are more effective than the vaccine itself. Newsom’s order is nothing but a blatant violation of human rights and the use of an experimental drug without consent.
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