San Diego Unified Moves To Implement New Vaccine Mandate
The San Diego Unified School District is moving quickly to implement its new COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Tuesday night, the district’s school board voted unanimously to require vaccinations for all age-eligible students and staff members.
For now, the mandate applies to high school students 16 years of age and older. The board limited the mandate to that group because the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA for their use.
Student board member Zachary Patterson
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At a press conference Wednesday morning, on the steps of San Diego High School, Patterson, an 18-year-old high school senior, joined other board members and medical experts to spread the news. He revealed publicly for the first time that he is immunocompromised.
“If I get coronavirus it could be significantly worse for me,” he said. “What I say to my fellow students is remember me, remember us. We can change the outcome of this pandemic. We, as the society of tomorrow. If we get vaccinated. If we stay strong. We send a message that we believe in science.”
The district reports that almost 60-percent of the eligible students have been fully vaccinated already. It’s the remaining students and their parents who have to be educated and convinced to meet the mandate requirements.
“Go ahead and get your student vaccinated, if they’re eligible,” said board president Richard Barrera. “Rather than keep your kids out of school. That is not the decision we’re looking for and that is not our goal.”
Students who are not fully vaccinated by the December 20, 2021 deadline will be forced to attend the district’s Virtual Academy program.