FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A new state bill announced Monday would require all K-12 students in the state to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in-person classes.
Parents on both sides are passionate about their beliefs and have concerns on whether or not vaccinations for children should be mandated, and what the future would look like if the bill passes.
“It makes me uncomfortable and I don’t agree with it,” said Sanger parent Angelica Gonzales.
“It’s not a big deal, everyone that’s been in school so far has had vaccine mandates,” expressed Allison Lanford.
It’s been a controversial discussion since vaccines made their way out to the masses.
Two local mothers both have the same concerns but opposing views on how they plan to keep their children safe.
“I should be able to send my kids to school just like everybody else does without any forceable conditions and I feel like this is a forced condition just for them to go to school,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales is a mother of five and has kids in grade school, all the way up to high school.
The new state bill proposed by Senator Dr. Richard Pan would mandate all her children, even her youngest, to be COVID-19 vaccinated.
Lanford says she’s already vaccinated two of her teenagers and that she’s still working on getting shots for her younger two.
“We were getting calls every day, multiple times a day that there’s a kid who tested positive. So if that were to reduce that, it would be great,” said Lanford.
The bill would add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for children attending school in person.
It would not allow students to opt out of receiving the vaccine over personal beliefs, only with a medical exemption.
If the bill passes, the mandate would go into effect in January of 2023.
This new bill comes just days after another bill was introduced that would allow children 12 and older to choose to be vaccinated without a parent’s consent.