MUHSD's Response To The Governor's Vaccine Announcement
First, I want to thank you for your ongoing support of all of our students and staff. Providing a safe school environment for all of our students and employees continues to be our top priority.
On October 1, Governor Newsom announced a new proposed mandate for students attending in-person instruction to be vaccinated against COVID-19 following full FDA approval of the vaccine. While we don’t know when that will occur, we are well aware that this announcement has caused anxiety in our school community. With this memo, we hope to relieve some of that.
The way the announcement was made was confusing to many, so, through this FAQ, I hope to clarify some of the information that was presented.
What specifically did the Governor announce?
The Governor, utilizing the emergency regulation process provided to the administration in the 2015 school vaccination bill, Senate Bill 277 (Pan, D-Sacramento), noted that as vaccines receive full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for youth, those students will be required to be vaccinated. This was simply a press conference, no action has been taken.
What does this mean for our students?
Once federal regulators fully approve the vaccine for youth 12 and up, the state will require students in 7th through 12th grades to get vaccinated in both public and private schools. Newsom said he expects that requirement to be in place by July 1, 2022. The Governor's Office expects the COVID vaccine will receive full approval for youth 12 and up by January 2022. Once that occurs, that vaccination will be added to the school vaccine requirement list effective July 1, 2022, to affect the 2022–23 school year.
What is the current school vaccination/immunization requirement in California?
Effective July 1, 2019
Immunizations required to enter Kindergarten: Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (DTaP), Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chickenpox)
Immunizations required to enter 7th grade: Tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis booster (Tdap), Varicella (Chickenpox)
Can families "opt-out” of the Governor's future emergency mandate?
According to the statement made by Governor Newsom, medical, religious and personal belief exemptions may be available. The details of these opt-out options have not yet been released. Once these details are announced, they will be communicated to our MUHSD families.
Does the MUHSD Board of Trustees have any local decision making authority in this matter?
It must be stated that as a district, we are obligated to follow state Health and Safety Code requirements, laws and regulations, and vaccination requirements under sections 120325 - 120380 of the California Health and Safety Code. That being said, MUHSD is very concerned about implementing a mandate on our school community that would either affect the employment status of staff or the in-person opportunities for our students. Between the exemptions that will be allowed and our expanded testing program, we believe that we will be able to continue as is for the foreseeable future. We believe that we can have a safe school community and respect the rights of students and staff at the same time.
If you have opinions that you would like to share about this new regulation or provide input on the rulemaking process associated with this new mandate, please direct those to the California Department of Public Health or contact our local representatives.
Adam Gray - assemblymember.gray@assembly.
Anna Caballero - firstname.lastname@example.org
As the situation unfolds, the Board of Trustees will continue to discuss the matter and determine the best way to move forward. As always, thank you for your continued patience and understanding. We are committed to keeping all of our employees and families informed when we have more information to share.