Contra Costa County's health officer strongly supports a possible COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all students 12 and up and all staff in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
The district, one of the largest in the Bay Area, is in the process of considering a vaccine mandate.
"The communities served by your district have suffered a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, with higher rates of illness, hospitalization and death than the county as a whole," health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said in a letter released Friday. "Vaccination is the best method we have to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to teachers, staff, students, the families of students and staff, and the wider community."
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West Contra Costa Unified said it's still examining the issue but has not yet set a date to vote on it.
Oakland Unified School District, which is in Alameda County, said it could bring the issue up for a vote as soon as next week.
Staff and teachers would also have to be fully vaccinated. The consequences for not getting vaccinated are still being discussed.
CLARIFICATION: In a previous version of this story, NBC Bay Area cited an East Bay Times report stating Contra Costa County Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano may recommend that school districts in the county require all students 12 and up to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Farnitano supports a vaccine requirement for West Contra Costa Unified School District, not all districts in the county.