Governor Newsom and CDPH Postpone State Mandate for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate in K-12 Schools

CATEGORY: Special Bulletins
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
PUBLICATION: LCW Special Bulletin
DATE: Apr 15, 2022

On April 14, 2022, Governor Newsom’s administration announced a delay in enforcing the state mandate that will require students and employees in K-12 schools to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  The mandate as previously announced would have required students to obtain the vaccine to attend school by the first academic term, either January 1, or July 1, after the vaccine received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the students’ age range (as opposed to emergency use authorization).  The first phase of the mandate was anticipated to take effect on July 1, 2022.

The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) released a statement on April 14 explaining that the mandate is now delayed because the FDA has not yet fully approved COVID-19 vaccines for individuals of all ages within the 7-12 grade span.  The mandate will now not go into effect until at least July 1, 2023.

Separately, there had been legislation introduced last January, Senate Bill 871, which would have added the COVID-19 vaccine to California’s list of required vaccines for attending K-12 schools.  This legislation was also pulled from consideration yesterday.  The CDPH still strongly encourages all eligible children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

We anticipate that guidelines and the regulation regarding this COVID-19 mandate will be issued once there is full FDA approval for the vaccine for children 12-15, and LCW will provide an update when those are available.  LCW attorneys are available to assist with questions about the delay of this statewide mandate.