When students are still on vacation but elementary and secondary schools prepare to return to classrooms in September, the state of California decided to force all teachers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Those who do not, should have weekly exams, as announced on Wednesday by the government of this western United States state, which registers high infection rates.
The number of covid-19 cases increased in recent weeks, and the authorities consider that the delta variant It’s the cause.
This worries parents and educators as the most populous state in the United States prepares to restart classes, which means the return of unvaccinated children to the classroom.
“To give parents confidence that their children will be safe in schools with face-to-face classes, we are asking all academic staff to get vaccinated,” explained California Governor Gavin Newsom.
California is the first state in the country to adopt this measure. Last week, President Joe Biden decided to require government employees to apply the injection, and did not rule out extending the measure to other areas, given the outbreak of the virus in midsummer.
Like the rest of the world, California interrupted its face-to-face classes last year and switched to virtual ones.
The United States managed to control the pandemic this year, and in recent months it began to show signs of a gradual return to normalcy.
But back to school is threatened by rising infections, with more than 10,000 cases per day in the state, a tenfold increase in two months.
The unvaccinated lead the number of infections, say the doctors.
In the United States, vaccines are free and available everywhere.
But there are still many skeptics who refuse to give themselves the prick. That is why the government does not rule out the possibility of making vaccination mandatory.
Public and private schools
This Wednesday’s announcement applies to public and private schools, and places the responsibility on the administration of academic institutions to ensure that staff are fully vaccinated or that they conduct weekly exams.
The measure was approved by the associations of parents and representatives.
About two-thirds of Californians over the age of 12 – the minimum age to be immunized – are fully vaccinated, according to the Health Department.
Vaccines against the coronavirus have become an issue that generates division in the United States and that is also marked by politics.
The left is clearly in favor, while some sectors of the right oppose immunization against the virus.
The Pentagon announced this week that its personnel must be vaccinated next month.
The city of New York will soon require vaccination certificates for those who want to visit closed places such as gyms and restaurants, while Los Angeles, in California, could follow this initiative, according to its authorities.
Mandatory vaccination is controversial in the United States and other countries. But for many experts, it is the only way to protect the population from a possible new wave of coronavirus caused by the Delta variant.