DC Catholic schools must comply with district COVID-19 vaccination rules for students 12 and older | National Catholic Register

The district revised its religious exemption form to include a section specific to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Catholic schools in Washington, DC are subject to a new COVID-19 vaccination requirement for children 12 and older issued by the district health department.

Under the rulesTo attend classes in the upcoming school year, students ages 12 and older attending all DC public, charter, private, and parochial schools must be fully immunized, have a medical exemption on file, or obtain the approval of a religious exemption.

The district has also revised its religious exemption form to include a section specific to the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to requiring parents to provide a written personal statement supporting their religious objection to the vaccine, the new form asks for the following information: the reason “you are not getting vaccinated based on your sincere religious convictions”; “the religious principles that guide your decision not to get vaccinated”; a statement stating “if you are opposed to all vaccinations” and if not, an explanation of the “religious beliefs you follow that will not allow you to be vaccinated against COVID-19”.

Unvaccinated students would have 20 days to present proof of vaccination or the necessary medical or religious exemption before being removed from school.

The Archdiocese of Washington did not respond to CNA requests for comment. The Archdiocesan Online School Yearbook lists 17 schools in Washington. An official from a K-8 Catholic school in the district told CNA that the school “has not yet received guidance” on how the mandate will be implemented.

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