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High-stakes COVID-19 vaccine mandate deadlines are fast approaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District and employees who refuse the inoculations face losing their jobs while unvaccinated students would ultimately be forced off campus into an online program.

While the vast majority of students and teachers are expected to comply — and possibly even feel reassured by the mandate — large numbers in the nation’s second-largest school district have so far resisted the requirement. Currently, about 1 in 5 district employees, about 12,000 workers, have not begun their immunization, according to information provided at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. A loss of that magnitude would add more disruption to school operations, especially as the district is struggling to fill more than 2,000 vacancies.

All school-district employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, unless they have an approved religious or medical exemption. A deadline also looms for students: By Oct. 3, students 12 and older must receive their first of a two-dose regimen if they wish to take part in any school-affiliated extracurricular activity, including all sports as well as clubs, dance teams, band, drama or anything else outside of academic work.

All students 12 and older must be fully vaccinated by the start of the second semester. Only medical exemptions are allowed for students.

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