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Aurora Public Schools to require COVID vaccinations for staff

The requirement is contingent upon full FDA approval of at least one of the vaccines.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora Public Schools (APS) has become the first metro Denver school district to require COVID-19 vaccinations for staff during the upcoming school year.

Superintendent D. Rico Munn sent a letter about the new policy on Tuesday, saying “this action is in accord with our belief that the science around COVID-19 and vaccines is clear and compelling.”

APS’ requirement is contingent on at least one of the three COVID-19 vaccines available getting full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is a step above the current emergency use authorization.

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“We recognize that members of our staff come to this issue from a variety of perspectives, and the exemptions allowed under state and federal law will be fully available to all staff once the requirement is in place,” Munn wrote.

In an interview with 9NEWS, Munn said this requirement will likely be unique to the upcoming school year, and that most employees are excited about COVID-19 vaccines and returning to in-person learning.

He said employees without religious or medical exemptions who choose not to get vaccines are “choosing not to work for APS.”

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"What we know is we need our staff to be healthy and available to serve our kids, and so like anything else that we do here, we need to make sure that you're in a position to do that,” he said.

Multiple universities in Colorado have announced they will require the vaccine for students and staff, but Munn said it's too soon for his district to do so given it's unclear if or when the inoculations will be approved for younger children.