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Newsom's School Vaccination Mandate Could Impact Looming Recall Election

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) -- Governor Gavin Newsom's Wednesday announcement on a statewide teacher vaccination policy was major news for educators and parents. It also resolved a potential political problem just as recall instructions are heading to voters.

"Not everybody will be overwhelmed by this, but we think it will be well received," Governor Newsom said of his vaccine requirement for teachers.

The school vaccine mandate announcement from Newsom Wednesday was not the only thing on his mind; or on his Twitter timeline, where he also offered several commentaries on the effort to drive him out of office.

"Anything Gavin Newsom does is being interpreted through the lens of the recall," said University of San Francisco Professor James Taylor.

Taylor says the vaccination policy clearly works in the Governor's favor. First, he's secured the backing of the teachers' unions. The policy will also be appreciated by parents, another key constituency.

"It was the first day back," said Hibba Ashraf, taking her children home from their first day of school in Pleasanton. "First day going to school today."

"It puts me at ease to know that they will be vaccinated, given all the variants that are coming out, and may continue to come out," Ashraf said. "So yeah, it puts me at ease as a parent."

"That's what you see happening in red states," Taylor said. "Texas and Florida are doing just the opposite. So it makes Gavin Newsom look good. It puts him on the right side of his party."

On Wednesday, the governor was asked what his next steps might be.

"We're just announcing this," Newsom laughed. "Seconds ago. Give it an opportunity to work. 24 hours. Maybe more than that. A few weeks."

By the those few weeks pass, the state will be the middle of the vote-by-mail-election. Many Californians are already looking ahead, however.

"Because the ballots are coming to people's homes now," Professor Taylor continued. "They've been mailed out. I've got two yesterday here at my home. They're coming to people's homes and people are going to have to make a decision whether or not to send the ballot back."

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