Sacramento, Calif.: Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials have confirmed, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all of California’s 6.7 million public and private schoolchildren.
But since then, the crisis first caused by a mysterious virus in late 2019 has mostly receded from public consciousness. COVID is still widespread, but the availability of multiple vaccines has lessened the viruses’ effects for many — offering relief to what had been an overwhelmed public health system.
Nearly all of the pandemic restrictions put in place by Newsom have been lifted, and he won’t be able to issue any new ones after Feb. 28 when the state’s coronavirus emergency declaration officially ends.
One of the last remaining questions was what would happen to the state’s vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, a policy that came from the California Department of Public Health and was not impacted by the lifting of the emergency declaration.