By Anna Meiler

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A COVID-19 vaccine mandate is coming for students in Cambridge.

The Cambridge School Committee voted six to one Tuesday night in favor of a vaccine mandate for students that will go into effect November 22.

The mandate will apply to all eligible children 12 and older.

Students who are eligible to get the vaccine, but choose not to can still attend school, but they won’t be allowed to take part in extra-curricular activities, like sports, student government, performing arts, school clubs and school-sponsored social events.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Cambridge Superintendent Victoria Greer asked the school committee to approve this mandate, writing in part, “we cannot sit by and let the virus destroy the futures of our young people who have already experienced such a negative impact on their academic, social and emotional development.”

Greer said the mandate will be expanded for younger students once a vaccine has been approved for children under 12.

“When you look at our youth vaccination rate, 16 to 19-year-olds in Cambridge, it low. It’s actually lower than the state’s,” Greer said.

Last week, the Amherst school district became the first in Massachusetts to approve a vaccine mandate for students.

“The intent is to keep us safe, in-person schooling,” said Greer, who added she will be holding information sessions and will talk with any concerned parents. “And what do I say to them? I welcome a conversation. We may not agree. And that’s OK.”

Anna Meiler