Reaction mixed after governor orders student vaccines

Some are hailing Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Friday requiring that all students get vaccinated when eligible, but others are blasting the mandate

A group representing school boards welcomed his announcement.

"It makes sense to have a universal approach on this issue, and that's what the governor is doing in this case," said Troy Flint, spokesman for the California School Boards Association.

Flint said Newsom's directive brings clarity to individual districts.

"The patchwork of different regulations and mandates at the local level that we've been working under during the past 18 months haven't been fully effective in trying to combat COVID-19," Flint said.

But Ron Swedelson, a San Ramon parent said, "For me, it's frustrating because you have a governor that's deciding a medical procedure, basically for all of our schoolkids.

Swedelson, who has two kids in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, says he doesn't believe children are more at risk.

"It's not something I see being backed up by doctors, by CDC, by medical boards," Swedelson said. "I don't see this as a mandate - strong recommendations? 100 percent. I think you should talk to your doctor."

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There were only a handful of school districts in the Bay Area that already had some kind of vaccine mandate before the governor's announcement..

Among them are Oakland, Hayward, Piedmont and, most recently, West Contra Costa Unified.

Those without mandates had been following local and state guidelines. But now, the say they'll follow Newsom's lead.

"We will make sure that we are ready to implement those mandates when the final details are all ironed out," said CJ Cammack, superintendent of the Fremont Unified School District, one of the biggest in the Bay Area.

Cammack said it seems clear, any vaccine hesitation should be a thing of the past now that the state seems to be moving forward with its mandate.

"And if that's the case, which it appears that it will be, I would encourage our families to get vaccinated as soon as possible," Cammack said.

The time frame for student vaccinations depends on age. Children 12 and up are now eligible, and shots for younger kids could come soon.