The Los Angeles school board voted yesterday to postpone its COVID-19 jab mandate for students ages 12 and over until the fall of 2022.

The New York Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board had approved a plan in September that mandated students would need to show proof of “full vaccination” by January 10 in order to attend classes in person. However, the board voted on Tuesday to push this deadline back to the fall of 2022.

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The school district said that this move would “offer educational opportunities” to “vaccine-hesitant” families.

“The science is clear – vaccinations are an essential part of protection against COVID-19,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “Los Angeles Unified applauds the 86.52 percent of students aged 12 and older and their families who are in compliance with the vaccine mandate, and the many other families who are still in the process of adding their vaccine records to the system. This is a major milestone, and there’s still more time to get vaccinated!

“Abundant praise and gratitude to the Los Angeles Unified students and families who have already met the vaccination requirement, staff who have worked under extreme hardship with grace and professionalism and our partners,who have supported our health and safety efforts,” continued Reilly. “Together, we continue to move toward the best and safest possible learning environment for all students and families.”

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The Los Angeles Times reported that nearly 87% of students aged 12 and over in Los Angeles have shown proof that they’ve gotten their shots. United Teachers Los Angeles supported pushing the mandate back, with its Secretary Arlene Inouye saying that the union would like the district to increase education through vaccination outreach campaigns to students and families.

“We support the district’s student and employee vaccinations requirements that remain our community’s best line of defense against COVID-19,” Inouye said. “We also understand the huge challenges and potentially disastrous impact that transferring 30,000 students into an online independent study program would create for our students and their families.”

UTLA also stands by the district’s plan to apply this mandate for students to independent charter schools.

“It’s been disturbing to learn that the district’s COVID health mandates have not equally applied to all students and staff at independent charters, and we are encouraged to see that the district is taking positive steps to address this problem,” Inouye said.

Ricardo Soto, chief advocacy officer and general counsel for the California Charter School Assn., said that charter schools that are part of his organization would would take steps to ensure charter public schools are “aware of mandated timelines, policies are based on science, and parents are provided full transparency on the health and safety of their child.”

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Red Voice Media would like to make a point of clarification on why we do not refer to any shot related to COVID-19 as a “vaccine.” According to the CDC, the definition of a vaccine necessitates that said vaccine have a lasting effect of at least one year in preventing the contraction of the virus or disease it’s intended to fight. Because all of the COVID-19 shots thus far available have barely offered six months of protection, and even then not absolute, Red Voice Media has made the decision hereafter to no longer refer to the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson substances as vaccinations.

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