Los Angeles County announced it would delay enforcement of its vaccine mandate for schoolchildren until next fall because of mass noncompliance.
The Los Angeles Unified School District said that more than 30,000 students still had not complied with the mandate, which was supposed to go into effect on Friday. Those who did not comply would have had to disenroll from LA’s public schools or attend classes virtually.
Instead, the district decided to extend the mandate’s deadline until next year.
“This pandemic is not over, and LAUSD may delay the eligible student vaccination deadline but will uphold the requirement,” school board member Jackie Goldberg said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“To be clear, we are not moving one inch from the mandate. Not one inch, not a centimeter,” Goldberg continued.
“We are simply saying you now have more time to do it because we want all of you to be vaccinated and safe,” he said. “And also we do not want your not being vaccinated to disrupt the education of those who have complied.”
LAUSD Superintendent Megan Reilly said 87% of the county’s students have been vaccinated, but acknowledged that many families would be hurt if the mandate went into effect now.
“It allows more time for families to get this vaccine,” Reilly said. “This effort remains a top priority for Los Angeles Unified.
“We will continue to engage students and families around the importance of vaccines and the deadlines to participate for in-person learning,” Reilly added. “We will improve vaccination rates for eligible students and we will continue to provide a consistent, stable learning environment and access to vital resources.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in October that the state would be implementing its own vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, but he has not yet laid out a plan for when it will go into effect.