While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added the COVID-19 vaccine to its recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents, it is not required.

Meanwhile, state leaders appear to have walked back an earlier proposal to add COVID-19 vaccinations to California’s list of required shots for students.

In October 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a phased approach for requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for K-12 students, laying out a timeline that begins when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants full approval for doses to younger age groups.

But by the following spring, the FDA had yet to fully authorize any vaccine for students under the age of 16. As a result, the CDPH in a statement issued on April 14, 2022 said it would “not initiate the regulatory process for a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the 2022-2023 school year and as such, any vaccine requirements would not take effect until after full FDA approval and no sooner than July 1, 2023.”

On the same day as the CDPH statement, Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) also withdrew a bill that would have required all California students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting in 2023. The legislation would have also eliminated personal exemptions.

Once vaccines are fully approved for students younger than 16, CDPH officials said they will consider the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians prior to implementing a requirement.