Parents in California on Friday had mixed reactions to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for schoolchildren after they gain final federal approval.
Some welcomed the move as a way to keep children safe and classrooms open for learning and to try to put the pandemic behind. Others blasted the decision as premature, noting there is still no vaccine approved for children under 12 and there were more questions than answers about the potential impacts of the shots, and need for them, for youngsters.
Sarah Burwick, a lawyer in Los Angeles and parent of a soon-to-be 5-year-old, said she is fully vaccinated but that it isn’t clear at this time whether the risk to her child is greater from getting the shot or not getting it.
“I think any mandate on this vaccine for kids is way too soon,” she said. “We keep hearing the buzzwords ‘safe’ and ‘effective,’ but I think the question for kids should be: Is this necessary?”
Newsom on Friday announced a plan to have all students in grades 7-12 vaccinated by next fall once the shots gain final federal approval for everyone 12 and over. The Democratic governor said he expects the U.S. government to give that final sign-off sometime next year, and that the state would require K-6 students to get the vaccine once final federal approval comes for children 5 to 11.