By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A number of parents have pulled their children out of school on Monday to protest California’s looming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Hundreds of protesters descended on the California State Capitol on Monday morning. Other rallies are also planned across the state.

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Some parents say they are concerned about the long-term effects the vaccine might have on a child.

Others are concerned about personal choice.

“The vaccine mandate I don’t think should be forced upon anybody,” said A.J. Fernandez.

A UC San Francisco infectious disease expert is trying to assure parents that the vaccine is safe.

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“The FDA, when they fully approve something, they go through months of data. They really are about safety,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi.

“So, I want parents to feel comfortable that when the FDA fully approves this that it’s safe for their children,” she added.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the COVID-19 vaccination requirement back in October. Children in grades 7-12 must either be vaccinated or get an exemption.

The mandate will go into full effect once the vaccines get full FDA approval for ages 5-1.

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Many school districts, like Sacramento City Unified, are urging parents to keep their kids in class.