Oakland Unified to require students 12+ to get COVID vaccine

OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) — Most students 12 and older in the Oakland Unified School District will have to be fully vaccinated by the start of the spring semester or be forced to take independent study classes, school board members decided Wednesday night. 

Board members voted 4-3 to adopt a policy that requires complete vaccination to attend school or other in-person school activities unless a student has an exemption. 

Exemptions can be for medical reasons, because of personal belief or if a person has received their first or second vaccine measure but is not however fully vaccinated. 

Fully vaccinated, according to district officials, occurs two weeks after a student receives their second vaccine shot. 

School board members had the option to pass less restrictive policies. One proposal required students to be vaccinated only if they were participating in extracurricular activities. The other required students to be vaccinated, unless they received an exemption, at the start of the following school year in August 2022. 

Unvaccinated OUSD students will be given the opportunity to take classes by the district’s Sojourner Truth Independent Study program.

School board members adopted the vaccine mandate for students 12 and older last month. OUSD was one of the first school districts in Northern California to adopt a mandate. 

Piedmont schools also adopted a mandate last month. In Southern California, students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are also required to be vaccinated. 

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