As groups of unvaccinated Americans challenge local and state-issued COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the court system, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who barely escaped a recall effort, just presumably angered millions of parents in his state.
According to the Washington Examiner, last week, California officially became the first state to force a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on every schoolchild, defending his decision by simply stating that “vaccines work.”
However, as the Associated Press noted, Newsom explicitly stated that the mandates won’t be in full effect until the vaccines are FDA-approved for two age groups that cover the majority of school-aged children, which could take well into the summer of 2022.
BREAKING: CA will require our kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine to come to school.
This will go into effect following full FDA approval.
Our schools already require vaccines for measles, mumps and more. Why? Because vaccines work.
This is about keeping our kids safe & healthy.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 1, 2021
The mandate details
Newsom’s new law will cover both the state’s public and private school systems, with the only exceptions being valid medical, religious, or personal reasons. The AP noted that the details regarding the exceptions, which will undoubtedly become a hot topic of its own, will be written later.
As it stands, students who refuse to receive a vaccination and who lack a valid, approved exception will be forced to do independent, virtual study from home.
Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for children is expected to impact some 6.7 million of the state’s school-aged children, undoubtedly setting the stage for untold numbers of legal challenges and political maneuvers in the coming months and years.
“We have to do more,” Newsom told reporters while discussing the announcement. “We want to end this pandemic. We are all exhausted by it.”
Not surprisingly, a number of parents and advocacy groups have reacted to Newsom’s wide-ranging mandate, calling into question whether politicians are actually following “the science” or playing politics.
“Families need to be able to make these personal medical decisions themselves, and there is no reason to mandate a vaccine for children who are at low risk from serious complications from the virus,” said Sharon McKeeman, founder of Let Them Breathe, the Los Angeles Times noted.
McKeeman added: “Even once this vaccine receives FDA approval, it will not have gone through long-term studies.”
While Newsome certainly made a bold decision by issuing the mandate, it won’t come without extreme challenges. Many believe he’d be better of spending his time fixing the broken state that he runs instead of forcing needles into the arms of young children.