SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The COVID-19 vaccine requirements in California’s schools will be delayed until 2023, according to an announcement by the state’s Department of Public Health made Thursday.

The move means a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students in the 2022-2023 school year will be implemented.

State officials add that any requirements for students to be vaccinated will now take effect no sooner than July 1, 2023. The California Department of Public Health says this will provide health officials sufficient time to implement the rule.

The state’s announcement cites the federal FDA not yet approving COVID-19 vaccines for individuals of all ages between grades seven and 12 – revealing that the full FDA approval was a requirement for adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines to attend school in person. Current vaccines required for in-person school include the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine/MMR vaccine.

Despite the announcement, state officials continue to encourage all eligible Californians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including children.

“We continue to ensure that our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is driven by the best science and data available,” said California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón.

State officials say residents are still able to make a vaccine or booster appointment through