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Poway Unified School District says no vaccine mandate for the rest of the school year

State officials say the mandate may be enforced as early as July 1 of next year if the vaccine gets full FDA approval for children.

POWAY, Calif. — Poway Unified School District wants parents to know it will not require a COVID-19 vaccine for students for the remainder of this school year. The district says it sent a letter to parents Sunday to clear up some confusion about a vaccine mandate.

In the letter, Poway Unified is still telling parents how they can get their children vaccinated but the letter also made it clear, that no student will be required to take the vaccine for now.

“If it’s going to save her life and if it’s set up where I know it will, then absolutely I will but right now they don’t have enough facts to support it,” said Michelle, who has a grandchild in the Poway Unified School District. 

Some parents in the Poway Unified School District don’t believe the COVID vaccine is safe for children.

The CDC recommends everyone ages five and older get a COVID vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

One woman told News 8 she’s willing to take her grandchild out of Poway schools and out of California because she doesn’t want her to be vaccinated.

“If that’s what it takes. I don’t want to force her into something. Not all states are forcing this,” Michelle said. 

State officials say the mandate may be enforced as early as July 1 of next year if the vaccine gets full FDA approval for children. Personal belief exemptions would still apply. 

One parent said everyone should make their own decision, but she’s already vaccinated her children because it was safest for them as a family.

“I talked to them about it first. We went through the pros and cons. They were just like, 'Can we not wear the mask anymore?' But now with the new variant, we’re being cautious about that,” said Gabriella who has two children in Poway Unified School District. 

The letter also provided information on where parents can get their children vaccinated. A pop-up clinic will be hosted by Sharp Healthcare on December 16 at Valley Elementary School in Poway.

“I just felt that if we vaccinated against chickenpox, the measles, MMR. Did we go and look at the science of that before enrolling them in school? No,” Gabriella said. 

The clinic at Valley Elementary will offer the two-dose, Pfizer vaccine. If you’d like more information on how to make an appointment, just click here.

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