Oakland Unified School District considering vaccine mandate for students age 12 and up

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- With the Los Angeles Unified School District voting to mandate coronavirus vaccines for students aged 12 and up, some school districts here in the Bay Area are considering similar measures.

"Vaccination is really one of the best tools we have in the toolbox to limit outbreaks at our schools and to keep our teenagers safe and in school learning," said Sam Davis, the Vice President of the Oakland School Board.

RELATED: SoCal school district to become 1st in CA to require COVID vaccinations for students 12 and up

Davis recently put forward a proposal that would mandate students in Oakland also be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"73 percent of adolescents in Oakland have at least one shot, which is pretty good. but, you know, pretty good is not good enough," he said.

If passed, Davis doesn't want the measure to be punitive.

He says while anti-vax sentiment is low in the Bay Area, he also knows there are some people in the community who are hesitant.

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"There probably needs to be some exceptions. It might not be 100 percent. There's definitely going to need to be medical exceptions. I think some people have said, should we have an exception for religious belief?" said Davis.

Similar ideas have also been discussed across the Bay.

Gabriela Lopez is the president of the San Francisco Unified School District, where around 95 percent of teenagers have been vaccinated.

RELATED: Demand grows for COVID vaccine approval for kids under 12 as school begins

Lopez says while she supports a mandate, with vaccination rates so high among San Francisco teenagers, one might not be necessary.

As for the students in Oakland, Davis says they'll have time before any new rules might take effect.

"It's going to be discussed on September 22nd. I don't know if we'll be ready to vote on it then. We need to figure out a timeline," said Davis.


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