The Los Angeles Unified School District has postponed its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students ages 12 and older from taking effect until next year.
The move follows the city’s Board of Education voting Tuesday night to delay the previously mandated start until at least July 1, 2023.
“Today’s vote shows that we are a science-based school district, and the health and safety protocols we adopt are influenced by the expert advice of our medical partners and public health officials,” said district Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho in a statement.
Last year, California announced all schoolchildren would need to receive the coronavirus vaccine. At the time, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, estimated that the requirement would go into effect ahead of the 2022-2023 school year, which means this summer.
Last month, however, the state government put a hold on the mandate until at least summer 2023 because school officials worried they would not be able to implement the mandate in time. The Los Angeles school district is now on track with the rest of the state in its delay.
“Due to the high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low transmission rates in our schools and our nation-leading safety measures, we have preserved in-person learning in the safest possible environment,” said Carvalho, acknowledging that students do best when learning in an environment with their peers.