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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento City Teachers Association has submitted a proposal to get children ages 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19.

Young children at the elementary school level are being impacted by a rise of coronavirus cases.

“The county recommended to close New Joseph Bonnheim about two weeks ago. They had a major outbreak with 23 staff and students, the county actually recommended to close it, the superintendent decided not to close it and that was somewhat controversial,” SCTA President David Fisher said.

As a former second grade teacher, Fisher worries for other teachers and students in the Sacramento City Unified School District, which has seen an average of 19 new cases a day since the school year began on Sept. 2, along with a major teacher shortage with about 39 classes a day without either a regular or substitute teacher in the classroom.

“We’ve had teachers that have been quarantined themselves or had to stay home because they’re own children were exposed and quarantined,” Fisher said. “We want to be in person, we want to stay in person.” 

That’s why the union submitted their proposal to the district.

“The overwhelming consensus was it’s time. It’s time to get the vaccinations and make the testing more regular,” Fisher said.

“The cases with children, we are still seeing a slight increase. They still constitute about 20% of the cases being reported to us,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said. 

Public health in the county are poised to take more action.

“We are in constant communication with schools, we’ve been working with them for COVID vaccines for older children as well so this will definitely be a collaborative effort,” Rachel Allen, the county’s immunization coordinator, said on a media call this week.

Even though opinions on vaccinating children remain split amongst the community, Fisher says they are using science and statistics to back up their vaccine initiative.

“Even if it might be somewhat controversial to a small group of people, it’s worth being forward about it and trying to show some leadership,” he said.

“I think both sides have an argument in terms of getting vaccinated, there’s a lot of science behind it and I think the intention isn’t for control as much as it is for safety,” parent Joseph Hunter told FOX40.