Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho recommended today that the district align with the state and delay implementation of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for eligible students until at least July 1, 2023.
The mandate for district employees remains in place.
"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,'' Carvalho said in a statement. ``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.''
The district reported in December, when implementation of the vaccine mandate for students was delayed until at least next fall, that the vaccination rate among eligible students aged 12 and over was nearly 90%. The rate among employees is even higher.
District officials said they plan to continue providing information about vaccinations and making the shots available to students.
The LAUSD Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the recommendation to delay the mandate at its meeting on May 10.
"We have high vaccination rates amongst our students 12 years and older and with our employees,'' LAUSD Medical Director Dr. Smita Malhotra said in a statement. ``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.''