California to mandate COVID vaccines for students

The western US state of California plans to mandate coronavirus vaccines for schoolchildren to attend classes in-person.

Governor Gavin Newsom said on Friday the vaccine requirement would be imposed in stages following full approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children by the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA has fully approved the vaccines for people over 16 and has authorized inoculations for those aged 12 to 15 on an emergency basis. The vaccines for children under 12 are still in testing stage.

The vaccine mandate is expected to take effect in July for students aged 12 and older and at a later date for students under 12.

California already requires teachers and staff to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

US President Joe Biden is strongly urging people to get their jabs as the pace of inoculations has been slowing. California's move is expected to affect the decisions of other states.