The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education voted this week to require the district’s students, staff and others that work directly with students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The district’s staff and volunteers will be required to receive their first vaccine dose by Oct. 15 and their final vaccine dose by Nov. 15. Staff and volunteers must then prove their completed vaccination status by Dec. 7.
Students age 12 and older will have slightly more time, as they are required to receive their first shot by Nov. 15 and their final dose by Dec. 15.
Until federal health officials approve COVID-19 vaccination for children younger than 12, students age 11 or younger will be required to receive their final vaccine dose no later than 60 days after their 12th birthday, according to the district.
“We successfully reopened all WCCUSD schools seven weeks ago because we took the necessary mitigation and safety measures to keep students and staff safe,” district Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst said in a statement. “The board’s decision Thursday was an additional safety measure that helps keep students, staff and the WCCUSD community safe.”
The district has slightly modified deadlines for students participating in extracurricular activities, who must receive their first vaccine dose by Nov. 1 and second dose by Dec. 1.
The board’s vote came one day before state officials announced a similar vaccine mandate for students that will take effect once federal regulators issue their full approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children under age 16.
COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for children age 12 to 15 under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The state has already directed all K-12 teachers across the state to prove their full vaccination status by the middle of this month or test weekly for the virus.
West Contra Costa Unified students who have a valid exemption from the vaccines the district currently requires will also be exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Non-vaccinated students with exemptions will be required to test for the virus every two weeks, as is currently required.