California health agency won’t require students to get covid vaccine

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2021 file photo shows vials of the Pfizer and Moderna covid-19 vaccines in Jackson, Miss. (AP/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California won’t require children to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools.

The California Department of Public Health said Friday it is not exploring emergency rules to add the covid-19 vaccine to the list of required school vaccinations.

That’s a reversal from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021 announcement that the state would add the covid vaccine to its list of mandated vaccinations for kids to attend school. Last year, state officials delayed that requirement until at least the summer of 2023.

Now public health officials say they are no longer moving ahead with the effort as the state prepares to end its coronavirus emergency on Feb. 28.

State public health officials said they still “strongly recommend” immunization of students and staff. They added that any changes to the vaccine requirement are “properly addressed through the legislative process.”