California · COVID-19

School vax mandate bill pulled amid mounting opposition, Calif. lawmaker announces.

The author of a bill that would require COVID-19 vaccination for students attending California schools in has put it on hold, lifting at least for now a looming and controversial mandate that threatened to shut thousands of unvaccinated kids out of classrooms.

Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said in a statement that he was holding his Senate Bill 871 out of concern too many of the state’s children remain unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, COVID vaccination rates, particularly among children, are currently insufficient, and the state needs to focus its effort on increasing access to COVID vaccinations for children,” Pan said in a statement. “Until children’s access to COVID vaccination is greatly improved, I believe that a statewide policy to require COVID vaccination in schools is not the immediate priority.”

It’s the latest vaccine mandate bill to fall by the wayside during the 2022 legislative session.

Earlier in the session, Asm. Buffy Wicks (D–Oakland) withdrew a bill modeled after the Biden administration’s employer vaccine mandate, owing to similar opposition.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.