Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom announced and signed an executive order last week requiring every eligible student in the state to receive a COVID vaccine. He imposed this mandate on parents even though his 12-year-old daughter has not been vaccinated.
The first statewide mandate in the U.S. will require students and academic staff to be vaccinated by January. The mandate is expected to recognize some exemptions which have not been detailed yet.
Erin Mellon, a spokesperson for Newsom, said that the governor’s daughter “only recently turned 12” and added that she has an appointment for a vaccination jab “in a manner of days.” The governor’s Twitter shows that his daughter turned 12 on September 19 and is the oldest of his four children.
The CDC and FDA reported that the vaccine is safe for children 12 and older in May. Newsom told reporters that his daughter had “a series” of other vaccines to receive first. The CDC recommends several vaccinations between ages 11 and 12 but has said that the COVID shot is safe to receive and all other approved vaccines.
In his announcement of the child mandate, Newsom said there is “still a struggle” to get to where “we need to be.” He added that we need to do more and to “do better.”
Politico reported that the mandate provides that children who file a request for exemption will not enroll for in-person education on school campuses. The mandate includes students in private schools as well as public schools.
Newsom’s children have reportedly been attending in-person classes at a private school since at least October 2020. Two of his children have tested positive for COVID-19, but his other two children have not. Neither Newsom nor his wife has tested positive. Newsom has not said whether his oldest daughter is one of the two who have tested positive.
He has been known to ignore the COVID restrictions he has placed on Californians personally. Most notably, he was captured on camera dining at the French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley when most of the state’s service industry struggled under severe restrictions on businesses and customers.
Newsom also took his children out of a “mask optional” summer camp after at least one of them was photographed while not wearing a mask. He had previously required that all children under 12 be masked in public since they are too young to be vaccinated.
The governor’s spokesperson said that he had “missed” the emails from the camp indicating that it would not enforce mask mandates for attending children.