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COVID-19 vaccine mandates in schools are a "good idea" for ages 12 and older who are eligible to receive a shot, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday.
Fauci said he expects the FDA and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to establish a "strong benefit-risk ratio" for children.
"When that gets established, which I believe it certainly will … I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea," Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"We've done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis," he added. "So this would not be something new, requiring vaccinations for children to come to school."
The Culver City Unified School District in Los Angeles is requiring COVID-19 vaccines for staff and students who are ages 12 and older, according to NPR. Students and staff are required to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 19.
Local teachers' unions were in strong support of a vaccine mandate for students, NPR reported. The school district will also require masks and conduct weekly testing, regardless of vaccine status.
"They were very concerned, particularly some staff members who are older or have comorbidities that might make them more susceptible to COVID, about going back to school in a room full of kids who weren't vaccinated," Geoff Maleman, a district spokesman, told NPR.
"It became a real safety concern for the teachers," he said.
About 88% of the eligible residents in Culver City have received at least one vaccine dose, including 84% of ages 12-17, according to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
California was the first state to require teachers and staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, NPR reported. Washington issued a mandate for K-12 teachers last week, and school systems in Denver, Chicago, and the District of Columbia have also mandated vaccines for teachers.
"I am very much in favor of mandating at the local level," Fauci said Sunday. "I think that's one of the ways that we can get many, many more people vaccinated."
CNN: "State of the Union transcript, August 29, 2021."
NPR: "A California School District Mandates Vaccines For Eligible Students."
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: "COVID-19 Vaccinations in LA County."
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Cite this: Fauci: 'Good Idea' to Implement School Vaccine Mandates - Medscape - Aug 30, 2021.