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Los Angeles Unified Makes a Recommendation to Align with the State of California on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older (04-28-22)

Shannon Haber

April 28, 2022

Los Angeles Unified Makes a Recommendation to Align with the State of California on COVID-19 Vaccinations for Students 12 and Older

Los Angeles, CA (April 28, 2022) – Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho announced today that after consultation with health experts and its medical director, the District will make a recommendation to align with the state of California’s student requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations delaying the effective date to no sooner than July 1, 2023. The vaccination requirement for Los Angeles Unified employees remains in place, and all employees who are assigned to schools are vaccinated.

“The ability of our system to pivot shows that we are a science-based school district and the health and safety protocols we adopt are influenced by the expert advice of our medical partners and public health officials,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We know that students do best when learning in the classroom with their peers. Due to the high vaccination rates among students 12 and older, low transmission rates in our schools and our nation-leading safety measures, we have preserved in-person learning in the safest possible environment.”

Los Angeles Unified will continue to provide proactive support to students and families who have not had access to vaccines, or who have not received information enabling them to make an informed choice about vaccinations. The District will support its school communities by providing a consistent, stable learning environment and access to vital student services, including vaccines.

“We have high vaccination rates amongst our students 12 years and older and with our employees,” Los Angeles Unified Medical Director Dr. Smita Malhotra said. “We have demonstrated low transmission rates in our schools with few outbreaks. And now, since the beginning of the pandemic, not only do we have the existence of therapeutics to deal with COVID-19, but scientists also have a greater understanding of this virus.”

“We studied positivity at the classroom level in Los Angeles Unified throughout the school year,” UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute Dr. Vladimir Manuel said. “Elementary classrooms with recent COVID-19 cases had similar positivity, in routine testing, as classrooms that did not have recent cases. This suggests that there was minimal transmission in school. The exception was two weeks in January 2022, during the omicron surge, when these classrooms had somewhat higher rates. Our models suggest no or very small amounts of classroom transmission since January, even after lifting the outdoor and indoor masking mandates.”

“Vaccinations are and remain our greatest tool to fight against COVID-19,” Superintendent Carvalho continued. “For the remainder of the school year, we will further improve our student vaccination rates via accessible school-based clinics, while offering vaccines for all students ages 5 and older. Providing ongoing support, especially in communities where students and their families have been hardest hit by illness, and addressing the educational, mental health and economic challenges of the pandemic, is my top priority.”

The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education is expected to discuss and vote on this recommendation at the board meeting on May 10.


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