SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While the deadline for students older than 12 in the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) to submit their COVID-19 vaccination record is Nov. 30, more than half of them submitted nothing.
"Any way that we can protect our kids is better than not doing it" said Isabel Pena as she sat in a pickup line waiting for her two children at school. Both her children have been vaccinated.
Pena said that she believes students being vaccinated makes in-person learning safer.
The deadline for SCUSD comes on the heels of the Center for Disease Control now recommending vaccine booster shots for all adults because of the omicron variant.
"Kids are social and they're gonna, even though they're wearing masks and everything, they're still gonna get together and there's always a chance that they're gonna get the COVID," Pena said.
According to the SCUSD COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 75% of students are not vaccinated or haven't uploaded their vaccine card.
The mandate says that, if students are not vaccinated by the new school year in January, they will have to enroll in independent study.
Sacramento City Teachers Association representative David Fisher says that there are flaws in the plan.
"Currently, they're not able to staff the remote program to the level they need to based on the number of students and families who would prefer to have the independent study" Fisher said.
He went on to say that teachers represented by the union agree with the mandate but are disappointed by the amount of time it has taken to get started.
"We know that the district had a program where educators that weren't vaccinated were supposed to get tested regularly since the school year started and that was never implemented," he said.
ABC10 reached out to SCUSD regarding students who do not show proof of vaccination by the deadline. They provided the following response below.
"Starting December 1, 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. SCUSD will also be continuing to offer weekly vaccination clinics and provide testing to those who are not fully vaccinated"