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Catholic schools in the Diocese will not require students over five years old to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the recent decision by the FDA and CDC to extend Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to individuals five years old and up,

“The Diocese of San Bernardino is dedicated to balancing the need to protect the health of our students, teachers and staff with the rights of parents to make decisions on issues vital to their children,” wrote Bishop Alberto Rojas and Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Samuel Torres in a Nov. 16 letter to Catholic school families.

“We anticipate the state will take up a bill in January 2022 to decide if the COVID-19 vaccine should be added to the existing list of ten required vaccines and if, unlike the current ten required vaccinations, a religious or personal belief exemption will be permitted,” they state in the letter, adding that diocesan schools will accept any parent request for an exemption as valid, if any legal mandates include a personal belief exemption.