Update – Statewide Vaccine Mandate for School Children

The Governor’s mandate will require all children receiving in-person instruction in public and private schools to receive the COVID-19 shot once full FDA approval has been given. The mandate is anticipated to take effect in July of 2022. The personal beliefs exemption still exists for vaccines required by regulation including the COVID-19 shot for school children. However, some legislators have indicated they want to eliminate the personal beliefs exemption. At FPM, we believe losing the personal beliefs exemption is a greater long-term threat than the Governor’s mandate.

Legislators are quoted below stating their intentions to remove the personal beliefs exemption:

Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco): “Personal belief exemptions are a huge loophole, and that’s why they were removed six years ago,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener. “And it’s why they should be removed for COVID-19.”[i]

Richard Pan (D-Sacramento): “We don’t want schools closing down or classes in quarantine. If you have a loophole or gap that allows too many students to remain unvaccinated, then you won’t have a school that is safe where students can learn. We have already had enough disruptions.”[ii]

Buffy Wicks (D-East Bay): “Yes, people have their own personal decisions to make, but it stops when it impacts other people,” Wicks said. “When we add the COVID-19 vaccine legislatively, as you mentioned — measles, mumps, other vaccines are already on that list — that loophole will not be able to be abused.”[iii] “My personal preference is having the most strict mandate that we can get passed in the Legislature and implemented,”[iv]
“It’s time we do something uncomfortable: make vaccination mandatory— at schools, gyms, hospitals, workplaces, etc.”[v]

There is an even greater threat than losing the personal beliefs exemption. At this time, it still does not appear this mandate will affect students currently enrolled in home-based education programs. However, legislation could change this. As indicated by Senators Wiener and Pan, personal beliefs exemptions are viewed as a loophole. The current vaccine exclusion for home-based private school students has also been viewed by some as a loophole. It seems very likely that the increased number of students being homeschooled through the private school exemption would lead these legislators to additional action. The battle over the COVID-19 vaccines will bring up the question of whether to remove or change the exclusion for home-based private school students from current vaccine requirements that are already in the code.

We need to be ready for action NOW in order to keep the personal beliefs exemption for COVID-19 vaccines for children. Legislation could be introduced as early as January 2022.

If legislation were successful, this would mean that the personal beliefs exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine will have been removed by the time the Governor’s vaccine mandate for school children goes into effect in July 2022. Start building a relationship with your legislators NOW to protect your freedoms.

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As organizations, we do not take a position on vaccines. We support parents’ rights to direct the education and upbringing of their children to the glory of God. As such, we believe parents are best equipped to make these types of medical decisions for their children. We are here to help parents who believe home education is their best option.

We will be in close contact with HSLDA as the situation unfolds and provide further information as it becomes available.


[i] Melody Guiterrez, “Who Can Opt out of School Covid Vaccine Mandate? California Lawmakers Eye Crackdown,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2021), https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-10-07/questions-over-who-can-opt-out-california-school-covid-19-vaccine-mandate.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Inside California Politics, “Assemblymember Buffy Wicks Discusses California Vaccine Mandates,” KTLA (KTLA, October 24, 2021), https://ktla.com/news/politics/inside-california-politics/assemblymember-buffy-wicks-discusses-california-vaccine-mandates/.

[iv] Melody Gutierrez, “Who Can Opt out of School Covid Vaccine Mandate? California Lawmakers Eye Crackdown,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2021), https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-10-07/questions-over-who-can-opt-out-california-school-covid-19-vaccine-mandate.

[v] Buffy Wicks, Tweet, Twitter.com (July 20, 2021), https://twitter.com/BuffyWicks/status/1417615571978362880.