WCCUSD superintendent announces delay in COVID-19 vaccine requirement

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New COVID ‘test to treat’ site opening this week in San Pablo
COVID-19 via Unsplash

Kathy Chouteau 

The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) has pushed back its student vaccination date requirement one year, aligning with recently revised state guidelines, Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst announced in a community message Sat., May 7.

Students will not be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine before July 1, 2023.

Previously, the WCCUSD Board of Trustees had set the vaccination date requirement deadline for July 1 this year. But on April 14, the California Department of Health Services announced the delay of implementation of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, noting that any COVID-19 vaccine requirements would take effect no sooner than July 1, 2023. In October, the state announced that COVID-19 vaccines need full approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be required for in-person attendance, similar to currently required vaccines for such diseases as measles, mumps and rubella. The FDA has not yet fully approved COVID-19 vaccines for individuals of all ages within the 7–12 grade span. 

Waiting till 2023 will enable “sufficient time for successful implementation” of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, Health Services said.

Dr. Hurst emphasized that “vaccination is part of the district’s comprehensive strategy to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus” and that the district continues “to encourage all eligible students, employees, volunteers and vendors to get vaccinated.”