COVID Vaccine Mandate for Students


Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Jillian Rowell, Staff Writer

After Covid struck and we were all confined to online learning, it became a race to get students to school. Almost two years later, we’re finally back, but not without changes. Students are required to fill out and show their daily passes at the school entrance, and everyone has to wear a mask. Now, a new requirement is being added to the list: all students must be vaccinated.

While the Pfizer vaccine has been available since December 11, 2020, individuals of ages 12-15 have only been eligible to receive it since May 20, 2021. LAUSD students in this age range must be vaccinated before January 10, 2022 unless they are qualified for exemption (those with medical conditions, for instance). Students participating in extracurriculars have to be vaccinated even earlier, by October 31st.

Students’ vaccine cards must be uploaded to the Daily Pass, a LAUSD-run website that allows students to be denied or allowed entrance into school based on whether or not they show any Covid symptoms. A guide on how to do this is on the LAUSD website under the FAQ section of “Safe Steps to Safe Schools” and can be found with a quick Google search, along with information on where to get vaccinated and why.

According to Ms. Lew, if a student is not vaccinated by the deadline, they “will have to transition to another program starting in the spring semester. So in LA Unified the other program would be the City of Angels Independent Study Program.” 

This program, while being similar to virtual school, wouldn’t be held here. Other options for those who don’t want to get vaccinated are to switch school districts or to move to a private school.

Those who get vaccinated after January 10th will start on that program, but as of now, it is unknown when they can be enrolled. When asked, Ms. Lew said  “We’re waiting for the guidelines from the district about if someone is not vaccinated how soon [they can] return because of staffing, because of scheduling, and for the students’ best interest.”

Lew means that the City of Angels Independent Study Program may offer classes different to ours and staffing may suffer depending on how many students switch programs. On top of this, it may not be in the students’ best interest to come back to Rancho Dominguez after already starting online classes.

For now, a lot of how this mandate will play out is still unknown. We’ll just have to stay updated with the LAUSD Board as more information is released.