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"99% of LAUSD Teachers Meet COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the success of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s vaccine requirement for teachers

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Faced with getting a COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs, thousands of hesitant Los Angeles school-district employees opted for a last-minute jab, allowing them to access schools and offices on Monday and resulting in 99% compliance among classroom teachers and 97% of all employees.

The high compliance rate — which includes those with an approved medical or religious exemption — fended off the need for a longer-term contingency plan that officials launched Monday in case the final vaccination rates were lower: Thousands of supervisors and staff from central and regional offices were deployed to campuses and classrooms. Some supervised classrooms or filled in for missing custodians and food-service workers. Police officers worked overtime.

Los Angeles — widely viewed as a national leader in COVID-19 safety measures — was among the first major school districts in the nation to issue an ultimatum to all employees amid the summer Delta surge: Get vaccinated or lose your job. The mandate came with the risk of serious disruption in the nation’s second-largest school district, already struggling to fill a high number of teacher and other vacancies.