COVID-19 Science and Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Last updated August 16, 2022

SFUSD strongly encourages anyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster to get vaccinated or boosted as soon as possible. It is one of the most important ways to avoid severe outcomes from getting COVID-19.

Review the following FAQs to learn more.

Can my child get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19?

Anyone 6 months and older is now eligible to get vaccinated, and anyone 5 years and older can get a COVID-19 booster in San Francisco. At this time only the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are approved for those 6 months to 17 years of age, so be sure the location where you go offers them. People under 18 need permission from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated, except under certain limited circumstances. 

View our FAQs for pediatric vaccines to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for children 6 months to 11 years.

Why shouldn't I wait for the vaccines to be fully approved by the FDA before my children get it?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following vaccines:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for ages 12 and up
  • Moderna for ages 18 and up

The FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the following vaccines:

Waiting to get vaccinated increases the risk of contracting COVD-19, which can sometimes have serious consequences. The FDA has regulatory processes in place to facilitate the development of COVID-19 vaccines that meet the FDA's rigorous scientific standards, which are also applied to the EUA process. 

Learn more about which COVID-19 vaccines are approved by the FDA.

View our FAQs for pediatric vaccines to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for children 6 months to 11 years.

Where can I go to get more information or to make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine or booster?

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from sf.gov/covidvaccine. Visit SFUSD's COVID-19 vaccine webpage sfusd.edu/covidvaccine for a calendar of vaccination events in San Francisco, which vaccines are offered at each site, and latest updates on COVID-19 vaccines.

View our FAQs for pediatric vaccines to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines or boosters for children 6 months to 11 years.

Will vaccinated people need a booster?

San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is opening up COVID-19 booster shots to everyone ages 5 years and up, provided they qualify based on timing of the previous dose of the vaccine. 

Pfizer and Moderna recipients may receive a booster six months after their second dose in alignment with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.

SFDPH also strongly recommends that anyone in a higher risk group–including seniors 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions, and people who work in high-risk settings–receive a booster as soon as possible. Additionally, all Johnson & Johnson recipients should receive a booster two months after their previous dose, a criterion that remains the same.

SFUSD vaccine sites are offering booster shots to everyone ages 5 and up. 

For latest information related to COVID-19 vaccines, visit sf.gov/covidvaccine

COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

Last updated August 16, 2022

What is the vaccination policy for students?

SFUSD highly encourages anyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated before school starts, and is partnering with healthcare and community providers to make vaccines accessible and free for SFUSD families. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in San Francisco at sf.gov/covidvaccine. Visit SFUSD's COVID-19 vaccine webpage for a calendar of vaccination events, which vaccines are offered at each site, and the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccines. 

Per state law, all students should also be up to date on all other vaccines required for school before attending. If the school does not yet have your child’s immunization record, or your child receives additional vaccinations, please bring the updated vaccination record to your child’s school. Information about health requirements for school is available on the SFUSD website.

What is the vaccination policy for staff and teachers?

SFUSD is requiring all staff to report their vaccination status. The district is actively promoting all who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to get vaccinated and is partnering with healthcare and community providers to make vaccines accessible and free for SFUSD staff and families. All school-based personnel who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must test at least once weekly. 

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine in San Francisco at sf.gov/covidvaccine. Visit SFUSD's COVID-19 vaccine webpage for a calendar of vaccination events, which vaccines are offered at each site, and the latest updates on COVID-19 vaccines. 

What is the vaccination policy for service providers, including those operating before and after school programs?

SFUSD requires all service providers to be fully vaccinated. Those who qualify for a medical or religious exemption must have a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the first time entering a school, then weekly thereafter. In addition, all service providers must follow San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines. Service providers can learn more about these requirements at the MOU information page, and review the vaccination FAQs for service providers for more information.

Will SFUSD require students to be vaccinated for COVID-19?

SFUSD is not mandating students to be vaccinated at this time. The California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students will take effect after full FDA approval and no sooner than July 1, 2023.  

Where can I request information about the vaccination rates or statistics about testing results for my student's school or classroom?

To protect the privacy and confidential health information of students and staff, SFUSD is unable to share detailed information about vaccination records. SFUSD is planning and implementing health and safety guidelines and enforcing COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as improved ventilation and group contact tracing. 

When will SFUSD implement the statewide COVID-19 vaccination mandate for students?

The State mandate will go into effect no sooner than July 1, 2023, and it is contingent on the COVID-19 vaccine receiving full FDA approval for anyone who is between ages 5-15. 

Currently, all students attending SFUSD, per California state law, are required to be up to date on immunizations required by the Health and Safety Code and the CA Code of Regulations. 

We will be working closely with the SF Department of Public Health to set up additional systems to verify student vaccination as we await more details from the State.
 

COVID-19 Science

Last updated August 16, 2022

I am concerned about community spread and transmission through schools because I live in an SRO--what are the risks and prevention mechanisms?

Get vaccinated if you are eligible, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask, and follow the protocols in the SRO that you live in.

How does COVID-19 spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

Learn more about how COVID-19 spreads.

This page was last updated on August 16, 2022