See Also: Medical Safety of Vaccines and Confronting Misinformation
Is there a student vaccine mandate?
The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education voted Tuesday, Feb. 22 to approve a new timeline for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students. The District’s intention in establishing a student vaccine mandate has always been to protect the health of students and create a safe learning environment. Litigation brought against the student vaccine mandate resulted in a temporary pause in the implementation; however, the Court of Appeals has granted a stay, allowing us to proceed with our plans to require vaccination for students at the beginning of the next semester, which will now be the start of the 2022-23 school year.
Are all students required to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination?
Consistent with the interest of promoting and protecting the health and safety of students, individual students will not be subject to the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 until the student is in an age group that has received full FDA approval for vaccination against COVID-19, and students who cannot be safely vaccinated may seek and obtain a medical exemption. Currently, that only includes students age 16 and older.
When do students age 16 and older need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
For attendance in summer school and summer enrichment programs 2022, students who are 16 years of age or older on or before June 21, 2022, must receive their first vaccination shot on or before June 28, 2022, and their second vaccination shot on or before the timeframe for a second shot recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and the FDA.
For participation in fall 2022 extracurricular activities, including athletics, students who are 16 or older on or before July 30, 2022, must receive their first vaccination shot on or before August 6, 2022, and their second vaccination shot on or before the timeframe for a second shot recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and the FDA.
For participation in in-person instruction for the fall semester 2022, students who are 16 or older on or before August 29, 2022, must receive their first vaccination shot on or before September 6, 2022, and their second vaccination shot on or before the timeframe for a second shot recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and the FDA.
Will students who turn 16 after the dates indicated above be required to get vaccinated?
For students already enrolled, who become eligible for vaccination and subject to the requirement after August 29, 2022, based on full FDA approval for their age group, and to promote academic progress through educationally-sound and logical implementation dates of the vaccination requirement, the students must receive their first vaccination shot within seven (7) days of the beginning of the semester following becoming eligible, and must receive their second shot within the timeframe for a second shot recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and the FDA.
Will new students who enter the district after the specified dates and are 16 or older be required to get vaccinated?
For students enrolling in the District for the first time after August 29, 2022, and whose age group has been fully-approved by the FDA at the time of enrollment, the student must receive their first vaccination shot within seven (7) days of enrolling, and their second vaccination shot on or before the timeframe for a second shot recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and the FDA. Students enrolling for the first time who are foster youth, homeless, migrant, or from a military family who state they have been vaccinated but lack immediate access to records due to their circumstances will be afforded the same the timeframe for a first and second shot provided to other students to provide proof of vaccination.
Does the vaccine mandate include students with an IEP?
For students with disabilities and subject to an individual education plan (“IEP”), who are protected by state and federal law regarding educational placement/free appropriate public education, and whose age group has been fully-approved by the FDA, the District shall comply with federal law when imposing the vaccination requirement on these students.
Are medical exemptions from the student mandate offered?
Anyone with a history of immediate allergic reaction of any severity to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine (or to polysorbate or polyethylene glycol), should not be vaccinated and can qualify for a medical exemption, as long as District medical exemption protocols are followed. Polysorbate is not a vaccine ingredient but was included because people sensitive to it may also react to polyethylene glycol, which is a component. The CDC advises that people with allergy histories that involve polysorbate or polyethylene glycol should be considered for allergist or immunologist referral in order to determine if they can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
As for highly-allergic individuals who have experienced severe allergic reactions to other substances that are not present in the COVID-19 vaccine, this vaccine is well tolerated and causes no allergic reactions in 98% of cases. Consultation with their physician is advised.
Those who feel they may qualify for a medical exemption need to complete the Medical Exemption Request form and submit to Immunizations@sandi.net
What is the vaccine requirement for staff?
On September 28, 2021 the Board of Education Trustees voted unanimously to require all District employees, partners, contractors and other adults who work directly with students and district employees on district property to be fully-vaccinated on or before December 20, 2021. Details of this Board presentation can be found here. Fully vaccinated means having received the two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Booster shots are not required, but are highly recommended.
The health and safety of our students and employees is paramount, therefore, this mandate is a condition of employment for employees; the District may take disciplinary action, up to and including termination for employees who do not comply with this mandate.
New employees will also be required to show proof of vaccination.