SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Unified School District board members Tuesday evening voted unanimously in favor of a resolution carrying out the district's student COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the 2022-23 school year.
Meeting both in person and virtually, the board passed the resolution on consent, after hearing from nearly 20 parents opposed to a vaccine mandate.
The board members meeting in chambers, along with Superintendent Lamont Jackson, were wearing masks.
According to the district resolution:
- the requirement mandates that all students 5 and up are subject to the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19;
- students must be in an age group where a vaccine has received full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, while students who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons may obtain an exemption.
- to attend summer school/enrichment programs, students 16 or older must receive their first vaccination on or before June 28, and their second vaccination in the timeframe recommended by the vaccine manufacturer and FDA;
- to participate in fall 2022 extracurricular activities, students 16 or older must receive their first vaccination shot on or before Aug. 6, and their second vaccination shot in the recommended FDA/vaccine manufacturer timeframe;
- for in-person instruction this fall semester, students 16 or older or must receive their first vaccination shot on or before Sept. 6, and their second vaccination in the recommended FDA/vaccine manufacturer timeframe;
- first-time students in the district after Aug. 29 must receive their first vaccination shot within seven days of enrolling, and their second vaccination in the recommended FDA/vaccine manufacturer timeframe.
- first-time students enrolling who are foster youth, homeless, migrant or from a military family who have been vaccinated but can't immediately access their records will be afforded the same the timeframe for a first and second shot as provided to other students;
- enrolled students who are eligible must receive their first vaccination shot within seven days of the beginning of the semester, followed by the second shot in the recommended FDA/vaccine manufacturer timeframe; and
- the district will comply with federal law when imposing the vaccination requirement on disabled students in an individual education plan.
The board voted on Feb. 23 to delay the date for students required to get the COVID-19 vaccine for in-person learning. For students 16 and older, the vaccine mandate takes effect by June, affecting students in summer programs.
The school district cited logistical reasons for delaying its Vaccine Mandate Roadmap, first approved last September.
The vaccine mandate was going to begin in December. That same month, Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer granted a writ of mandate for a lawsuit filed by the group "Let Them Choose," which argued the mandate didn't comply with state law.
As in previous call-in periods, those opposed to the vaccine mandate voiced concerns over efficacy rates, and asked board members to end the district's indoor mask mandate, or give parents and students a choice.
One caller said she didn't understand why the board was mandating vaccine requirements, given children have high rates of natural immunity.
She asked if the board members will pass another resolution if there's a vaccine for the omicron variant.
"I just don't know if this well-thought (out)," she said, adding the resolution just seems political and should be tabled.
The board also approved a resolution to conduct meetings virtually for the next 30 days, which drew criticism from some callers.
A woman who gave her first name as Paloma said evidence shows there's no harm or risk to attendees, and keeping parents out of the meeting is "shutting us out."
"We demand more," she added. "You work for us and serve our kids."