Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will not require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, despite the recent federal emergency authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children. 

In a Nov. 5 email sent to schools and parents, Catholic Schools Superintendent Paul Escala explained his department has not received an order from local health authorities requiring the vaccine.

“The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is not requiring students ages 5 and up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Escala. “We continue to encourage parents and guardians to seek advice from a health care professional about the COVID-19 vaccine for their child.”

Escala noted that state lawmakers are expected to weigh adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the official list of 10 required vaccines in January 2022, and that LA’s Department of Catholic Schools would “continue to monitor” developments at the state level. 

“Like all matters of public health, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has been prudently awaiting an official health order from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) before communicating officially with our community,” said Escala. “Thus far, we have yet to receive one.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent statewide order mandating vaccines for students is not expected to take effect until at least July 2022, online newspaper Politico reported Nov. 2