Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be required to get a coronavirus vaccine before they’re allowed to return to the classroom, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Superintendent Austin Beutner said Monday that once vaccines are available to children, then students will be forced to be vaccinated before they can return to in-person learning, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Beutner doesn’t believe that campuses should remain closed until vaccines are available for children, however. Instead, Beutner said that the state should develop a set of standards to reopen and then require campuses to open once those standards are met, according to the report.
Beutner said in a pre-recorded briefing that a vaccine requirement would be “no different than students who are vaccinated for measles or mumps,” according to the report. (RELATED: Los Angeles Reportedly Calls In The National Guard To Help Remove Corpses Amid COVID-19 Spike)
The superintendent added that “the best way” to keep the campus safe would be to ensure that everyone is protected from the virus.
Beutner hopes that “by this time next year” all students would be vaccinated, the Los Angeles Times reported. For parents who are hesitant to force their child to take the vaccine, Beutner reportedly said they “will always have the option for a child to stay in online learning and therefore not have to go back to campus.”
Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine has been authorized for people 16 and older, according to the Associated Press (AP). While there has been testing as to whether the vaccine is suitable for people as young as 12, studies are expected to last several months, according to the report. The Food and Drug Administration would then have to decide whether to authorize the vaccine for children.
Moderna has also begun testing people between the ages of 12-17 as of December and will track them for a year, according to the AP.
While children typically don’t get very sick from the coronavirus, they can transmit the virus to more susceptible people. At least 1.6 million children have been infected with the virus, with 8,000 having been hospitalized, according to Dr. Robert Frenck, the lead researcher for Pfizer’s study in kids, according to the AP.