Los Angeles schools will need COVID-19 vaccine for children over 12

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Children attending a public school in Los Angeles will need to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday. Getty Images
  • The Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in the country, requires COVID-19 vaccination for all students aged 12 and older for in-person learning and extracurricular activities.
  • Some smaller school districts in California are discussing similar vaccine requirements.
  • Most school districts across the country do not currently require COVID-19 vaccination for students, although experts expect this to change.
  • Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in children 12 years of age and older.
  • The Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12 this fall or winter.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently approved an immunization mandate requiring children aged 12 and older to be fully immunized to attend an in-person learning.

Students must be fully immunized by October 31 to participate in extracurricular activities.

To attend classes in person, they must be fully immunized by December 19.

LAUSD is the largest school district in the country to impose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

The move comes as infections in children have increased 240% since July.

Serious illness remains rare in children who contract the coronavirus, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A small percentage of children, however, have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Pediatricians expect many children and parents to be exposed to the virus this fall and winter as we head indoors.

“The vaccine is the best way to protect children and our community from the serious and long-term effects of the virus,” Dr. Katherine Williamson, a pediatrician at Providence Mission Hospital in Orange County, California, told Healthline.

Children newly eligible for COVID-19 vaccination must receive their first dose no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday.

They should receive their second dose within 8 weeks of the first.

The district said the injections would be offered at school to children with parental consent.

Proof of vaccination must be uploaded to LAUSD’s Daily Pass program by January 10, 2022.

Childhood vaccination will not only protect children from disease and the potential development of symptoms in the long term, but it will also help block transmission in their communities.

Public health experts have compared the mandates of the COVID-19 vaccine to other routine immunization requirements for children, such as chickenpox or measles, mumps and rubella.

These warrants have been successful in preventing epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases.

A few California school districts, including one in Culver City and two in the San Francisco Bay Area, are debating issuing vaccination warrants to students.

Other school districts could eventually follow suit, but the vast majority of school districts across the country do not require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Just south of Los Angeles in Orange County, no decision has been made regarding the vaccination of schoolchildren, Williamson said.

But unvaccinated teachers passed the infection on to students, she added.

“The best way to protect our children and teachers is to have every 12 years and over vaccinated and, for now, to wear masks in schools because the virus still hurts so many children and people. unvaccinated adults, ”Williamson said.

At least nine states – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah – have passed legislation preventing public schools from requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

At least 34 states have passed bills with restrictions on the requirement for proof of vaccination.

Many states also allow religious and medical exemptions from school immunizations.

The children did not experience any side effects of concern after the COVID-19 vaccination.

Expected side effects include pain at the injection site, fever, headache and chills which go away within a few days of vaccination.

Dr Ilan Shapiro, medical director of health and wellness education at AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said it’s more common for children to suffer from complications. such as heart inflammation and thrombosis from COVID-19 itself. , not to get vaccinated.

“The cases of myocarditis that we see mainly concern young men and are very rare,” he said.

Shapiro recommends getting children immunized as soon as possible.

“The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only vaccine available for children as young as 12 years old and requires two doses, and the recipient does not get full immunity until 2 weeks after the second dose,” he said.

If your child is confused or worried about the vaccine, Shapiro recommends having a clear and open conversation about the purpose of the vaccination.

Because some children may be afraid of needles, Williamson recommends telling them that it will only pinch for a second and that you will be there for them afterwards.

If your child has been exposed to misinformation on social media, Williamson said it’s important not to reject them, but to listen to their concerns.

“Schedule an office or telehealth visit with their pediatrician where they can ask questions and address concerns in a safe space,” said Williamson.

Shapiro compares vaccination to wearing a seat belt.

“We wear seat belts in the car because in the event of an accident it will protect us and may save our lives. Likewise, the vaccine offers protection to protect us when we encounter this highly contagious virus, ”he said.

People who are vaccinated can still get an infection, but just like seat belts reduce the risk of being seriously injured in a car crash, vaccines do a great job of keeping people out of the hospital.

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently approved an immunization mandate requiring children aged 12 and older to be fully immunized to attend in-person learning.

While more districts may eventually issue student vaccination warrants, the vast majority of school districts in the United States do not currently require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pediatricians recommend getting children vaccinated now, as it takes more than a month to achieve full immunity to the vaccines.

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