Judge Stops San Diego USD Student Vaccine Mandate

The judge ruled that SDUSD’s vaccine mandate violates current California law, but the school board has vowed to appeal the decision.

Judge Stops San Diego USD Student Vaccine Mandate

San Diego, California — A judge has tentatively ruled that San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students should not move forward.

The mandate would require students who are age 16 or older be vaccinated for the coronavirus. Under the mandate, if a student weren’t fully vaccinated, they would be banned from attending in-person classes starting January 24, reports NBC News.

The lawsuit was filed by “Let Them Choose,” reports NBC San Diego. The group argued the mandate violated state law, and Judge John S. Meyer agreed. The judge ruled on Monday that current California law requires vaccine mandates be decided by the state and also include a “personal belief exemption” if the mandate isn’t imposed by the state. SDUSD’s doesn’t include such an exemption.

Back in 2015, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring school children to be vaccinated except when a child’s physician concludes there are “circumstances, including but not limited to, family medical history, for which the physician does not recommend immunization…” In other words, SB 277, no longer allowed families to have their children be exempt from vaccinations based on their personal or religious beliefs.

The bill was introduced in response to increased cases of measles in the state and falling vaccination rates.

SDUSD argued that districts didn’t lose their authority to mandate vaccinates and voted on Tuesday to appeal the ruling.

According to NBC News, all California public school students will eventually be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to attend face-to-face classes, but the deadline hasn’t been set yet, pending the vaccine’s full approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Public health experts say vaccination is the safest and most effective way to combat the current pandemic, and everyone ages five years and older can get vaccinated against COVID-19. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, which are rare.

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