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Court temporarily blocks San Diego Unified’s Covid vaccine mandate

A panel of federal judges issued a temporary restraining order on Sunday stopping San Diego Unified from requiring Covid vaccinations for students age 16 and over, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the order a day before students would need their first vaccine dose to comply with the requirement, which would have gone into effect Dec. 20. In its ruling, the judges sided with a student who had sued the district claiming the mandate discriminated against those who oppose the vaccine on religious grounds.

The order states that the district’s mandate allowed students to postpone getting the vaccine for medical reasons, but should have granted the same flexibility for students who oppose the vaccine for religious reasons.

The second-largest district in California, San Diego Unified has 121,000 students. The vaccine mandate would have required students age 16 and over to be vaccinated in order to attend school in person.