Governor Gavin Newsom is directing the California Department of Public Health to add
the COVID-19 vaccine to other vaccinations required for in-person school
attendance—such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Students will be required to be
vaccinated for in person learning starting the term following FDA full approval of the
vaccine for their grade span (7-12 and k-6). Here’s what you need to know about the new
Q: When will children under 12 years old be able to get the vaccine?
A: California continues to monitor the federal process for expanding vaccine eligibility to children under
age 12. CDPH has been planning for expanded eligibility and is working with our partners and California’s
pediatric health providers to prepare for administering these additional vaccines pending review and
approval from our federal partners and the Western States Scientific Safety.
Q: Should parents be worried about long term side effects?
A: The vaccine is proven safe and effective and currently available for children 12+. Side effects are
typically mild and normal after receiving a vaccination. Even though children generally have lower rates
of COVID-19 and spread the virus less than adults, it is possible for children to become seriously ill from
the coronavirus. So, it’s important to make sure eligible children get vaccinated to significantly reduce
their risk of becoming sick or spreading the virus to someone else, including younger children in the
Q: What is the new state requirement?
A: Children must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend schools in person, starting the school
term after the vaccines have full approval from the FDA for two different groups. The requirement will be
phased in by grade span, first grades 7-12 and then K-6. School staff will also need to be vaccinated by
the time the requirement applies to the first cohort.
Q: What’s the deadline for getting children vaccinated?
A. The requirement will take effect at the start of the following term, meaning either January 1st or July
1st, whichever comes first. This will also give both parents and schools sufficient time to prepare and
implement. Based on current projections for full approval for ages 12+, we anticipate the
requirement would apply to grades 7-12 starting on July 1, 2022.
Q: Aren’t teachers and administrators already required to be vaccinated?
A: Right now, they have the option to be tested for the virus regularly if they are not vaccinated, but that
option will disappear once the FDA gives final approval for that first student cohort.
Q: What if my child isn’t old enough to be vaccinated?
A: The requirement will only apply to children eligible to be vaccinated. No vaccines have been approved
yet for children younger than 12, but that could happen later this year or early next year.
Q: What other vaccines are required for California school kids?
A: Vaccine requirements to attend school are not unusual. California already requires kids to have
immunizations for polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP), measles, mumps and rubella (MMR),
hepatitis B and varicella (chickenpox).
Q: Are there any exceptions?
A: Yes, there will be exceptions for medical reasons and personal and religious beliefs. Students who are
not vaccinated will be permitted to enroll in independent study, but they will not be allowed to attend
class in person.
Q: There are still concerns from some in the Chinese community about getting the vaccine and its
safety. What would you tell those who still aren’t vaccinated?
A: Please get vaccinated. We know the vaccines are overwhelmingly safe thanks to the rigorous safety
trials that included people of different genders, ethnicities, ages and pre-existing conditions as well as
the ongoing efforts to monitor safety as millions of people receive the vaccine.
Unvaccinated people were 8.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people between
September 12 and September 18, 2021. The COVID-19 vaccines offer a high degree of protection against
severe disease, hospitalizations, and death, including against the highly contagious Delta variant. Don’t
take a chance with your life. Get vaccinated.
Q: Where can families get more information about the vaccine and to make an appointment?
A: Visit the state’s websites at www.vaccinateall58.com or www.myturn.ca.gov for more information on
the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and to make a vaccination appointment.( EMS / IM )