Students in California would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under proposed bill

ARLETA, LOS ANGELES -- A new state bill would require all K-12 students in California be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in-person classes.

State Senator Dr. Richard Pan introduced the proposed legislation at Arleta High School Monday morning alongside representatives from the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified school districts.

The bill would add the COVID vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for children attending school in person.

"Mandates work and they save lives. A vaccinated person has less severe reactions. The virus is less transmissible if a person is vaccinated and this reduces the opportunity for the virus to spread and mutate to another variant," said interim LAUSD Superintendent Megan Reilly.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's student vaccine mandate announced last year was blocked by the lower courts, and now the state legislature is weighing in.

Pan's bill would not allow students to opt out of receiving the vaccine over personal beliefs -- only with a medical exemption.

"We continue to keep in-person learning to be an important option for the students who wish to do so. And the way we do that is to be sure that the children who are in-person learning are vaccinated," he said.

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California would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents' consent, the youngest age of any state, under a proposal late Thursday by a state senator.

This comes days after another bill was introduced that would allow children 12 and older to choose to be vaccinated without a parent's consent.

Both bills are expected to be met with strong opposition.

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