Judge orders temporary halt to San Diego Unified School District's vaccine mandate

Posted at 6:02 AM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 09:02:25-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A Scripps Ranch family received an emergency injunction late Sunday, just one day before the San Diego Unified School District's vaccine mandate was set to take effect.

With the ruling, the mandate cannot move forward — for now.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the 16-year-old Scripps Ranch High School student and her parents, granting an emergency injunction that prevents the district's COVID-19 vaccine mandate from taking effect on Monday.

The panel of judges said the order was issued in an abundance of caution since Nov. 29 is the last date for students to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RELATED: Appeal filed in Scripps Ranch High student's vaccine mandate lawsuit

SD Unified's vaccine policy required all students over the age of 16 to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Nov. 29, and get their second dose no later than Dec. 20.

Anyone that doesn't meet those requirements would have to enroll in independent study programs.

The student and her parents argued her religious beliefs, specifically being against abortion, prohibited her from getting the shot. An attorney representing the family said his clients are opposed to taking the vaccines because of the use of aborted fetal cells.

Those fetal cell lines were grown in a laboratory from decades-old aborted fetal cells and used in the testing stage of the vaccines.

RELATED: SDUSD passes COVID vaccine mandate for students, staff

The district's plan allows medical exemptions to the mandates but not religious or personal belief exemptions. A final ruling is still pending.

In a statement, family attorney Paul Jonna, called the ruling a significant victory, urging the district to revise its policy to include religious exemptions for students.

ABC 10News reached out to San Diego Unified for comment, but district officials did not respond as of the publication of this story.