SCUSD reaches COVID-19 vaccine deadline for staff, students 12 and older

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Tuesday is the deadline for students 12 and older and staff in the Sacramento City Unified School District to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — but not everyone is on board. 

Father Christopher Duran went to the district headquarters Tuesday to submit what he referred to as a “formal spiritual exemption request” for his children.

“I have a 10-year-old and a 17-year-old both at different schools,” Duran said. “I just believe I have the ability with my wife to make the decisions rather than somebody tell us down our throats that this is what you’re going to do.”

As of Tuesday morning, of the 19,272 eligible students in the district, just under 25% were either fully or partially vaccinated. More than 75% were not yet vaccinated or have not reported their vaccination status, and less than 1% had exemptions.

It comes after the SCUSD board passed a resolution last month requiring all students 12 or older and staff to submit proof of either partial or full vaccination by the end of November in preparation for the next semester. The board argued this will be the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.

“SCUSD will begin the work of reaching out directly to those who did not file their vaccination status to guide them on the path to be compliant with our requirement by the January deadline,” the district said in a statement.

The district also said SCUSD will continue to offer weekly vaccination clinics and testing for students who are not yet vaccinated.

After Feb. 1, students who are not vaccinated and who have not received an exemption will be assigned to the district’s independent study program.

Staff who have not complied with the mandate may face disciplinary action, including unpaid leave or loss of their job.

Duran hopes to the decision on whether or not to vaccinate his kids will be left to him.

“I should have the ability to make that decision for my children,” Duran said.

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