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Oakdale school district not requiring COVID-19 vaccine for students, staff

The Oakdale Joint Unified School District is asking for Gov. Gavin Newsom to reconsider students and staff being fully vaccinated before returning to campus.

OAKDALE, Calif. — Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement in October that all eligible school children get vaccinated for the 2022 school year, the Oakdale Joint Unified School District said they are not requiring students or staff to get the shoot.

The school board is asking for Newsom and other state officials to reconsider the impact a vaccine mandate would have on students and school staff. They added that many parents do not want to vaccinate their children, and that the district is having difficulty finding employees for both certificated and classified positions. 

The school board is asking to either eliminate the mandate or provide clear exemptions for students with natural immunity to the coronavirus or with personal reasons as to why they don't want the shot.  

While the school board doesn't explain how they came to this conclusion in their resolution, they said a vaccine mandate appears to discriminate against people of color disproportionally.

The school district's announcement comes as California health experts are saying the state will likely avoid spikes in hospitalizations and deaths because most people are either fully vaccinated or already infected. 

The omicron variant is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the country, which accounted for 73% of new infections last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WATCH MORE: Omicron and high gas prices complicate holiday travel for Californians

In California alone we're expecting 14 million people to travel, the busiest travel days are projected to be Dec. 23 through Jan. 7.