Gov Gavin Newsom, Democrat of California, announced this afternoon in Oakland that teachers in the state would have to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo weekly testing for the coronavirus, NPR reports.
“We think it’ll be well-received to keep our most precious resource healthy and safe,” The New York Times quoted him as saying, “and that’s our children.”
The state mandate is the first in the country for educators and goes into effect Thursday, with full compliance due by October 15, the Times reported.
Randi Weingarten, president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union, had been opposed to vaccine mandates for union members, but she has reconsidered her position as the Delta variant, which seems to affect children more seriously than other variants, has surged in recent weeks.
“It’s not a new thing to have immunizations in schools,” she said Sunday on the NBC program “Meet the Press.” “And I think that on a personal matter, as a matter of personal conscience, I think that we need to be working with our employers, not opposing them, on vaccine mandates.”
Several large districts in California, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, had required vaccines for teachers before the governor’s order.
Many districts in other states, including the New York City Public Schools, the nation’s largest school district, have also made it mandatory for teachers to get vaccinated or undergo regular testing.