Once COVID-19 vaccines are available to children, Los Angeles students will have to be immunized before they can return to campus, Supt. Austin Beutner said Monday.
Beutner however, did not suggest that campuses remain closed until then. Instead, he said, the state should set standards for reopening all schools, clearly justify the directives, and then require campuses to open when the standards are achieved.
A COVID-19 vaccine requirement would be “no different than students who are vaccinated for measles or mumps,” Beutner said in a pre-recorded briefing. He also compared students, staff and others getting a COVID-19 vaccine to those who “are tested for tuberculosis before they come on campus. That’s the best way we know to keep all on a campus safe.”
But a vaccine will not be in the arms of students for some time. The two vaccinesthat have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration so far were tested almost exclusively in adults. The clinical trial of the shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech included 153 16- and 17-year-olds, and some of the experts who reviewed the data for the FDA said there weren’t enough teens to determine whether the vaccine is safe for that age group, let alone for younger children.
Children and young adults also are likely to be among the last to be vaccinated because they face a lower risk for a severe case of COVID-19.
Beutner said he hoped all students would be vaccinated “by this time next year.” Read Full Article >