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Should Schools Require Vaccines For Teachers And Staff? We Ask An Expert

A kindergarten classroom at L.A. Unified's Walgrove Avenue Elementary School in Venice. Staff have removed furniture, toys and books from the room to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.
As kids return to school next week, many are asking if vaccines should be required for teachers and staff.
(Chava Sanchez
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With the Delta variant fueling a rise in coronavirus cases just as the new school year is about to start, should vaccinations be required for teachers in California?

Dr. Dean Blumberg is chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children's Hospital. On our newsroom's news affairs show AirTalk Monday, he said ideally, vaccines WOULD be mandatory for teachers and staff, because it's the best way to prevent infection.

"But if teachers or other school staff aren't vaccinated, we know that we can still return to school safely for children. We did that before the vaccine — there was very little transmission in school as long as there was routine masking and social distancing," said Dr. Blumberg

California is requiring that teachers, staff and students wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.

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That policy is in line with recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The California Teachers Association is urging teachers, staff and eligible students to get vaccinated, but hasn't gone as far as endorsing a vaccine requirement for public school teachers.

What questions do you have about Southern California?