DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered all student-athletes over the age of 12 to be vaccinated, with no option to opt out and undergo testing instead.
All school “employees, contractors, interns, and volunteers” will also be required to take the vaccines.
The mandate will go into effect on November 1 and applies to all DC public schools, public charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, and child care facilities regulated by the Office of State Superintendent of Education.
“We know that vaccinations are the most effective tool to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect children who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine,” said Mayor Bowser in a statement. “This new mandate requirement, without a test-out option, will add another critical layer to the robust measures we have implemented to reopen our schools and keep our child care centers safe. We also know that sports are a high-risk activity. Requiring athletes to get vaccinated will ensure they not only stay safe, but also stay in the classroom and are able to participate in school-based extracurricular athletics.”
Bowser’s statement said that there will be exemptions for religious or medical reasons.
The Hill reports that “according to the D.C. government’s vaccine dashboard, nearly 70 percent of the city’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Roughly 55 percent of those aged 12 to 17 in D.C. have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine so far.”
The Los Angeles Unified School District has also ordered all eligible students be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10.
Students are required to take the first dose by Nov. 21 and the second dose by Dec. 19. If a student wants to participate in extracurricular activities the deadline is even earlier. In that case, they must have their first dose by October 3 and second by the end of the month.
“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan Reilly said in a statement earlier this month. “The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and requiring eligible students to be vaccinated is the strongest way to protect our school community.”
Families will be required to upload proof of vaccine to the Los Angeles Unified’s Daily Pass system for each student.