UC And Cal State Systems To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations For In-Person Fall Classes
The California State University and University of California systems announced on Thursday that all 33 campuses will require students and staff returning for in-person instruction this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The new directive will go into effect once the Food and Drug Administration gives "full approval" to a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots currently going into people's arms only have an Emergency Use Authorization.
CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro said the two higher education systems enroll and employ more than 1 million students and employees, and called the directive "the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country."
"Receiving a vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 is a key step people can take to protect themselves, their friends and family, and our campus communities while helping bring the pandemic to an end," said Dr. Michael Drake, president of the University of California, in the joint statement.
The university leaders said the timing of the announcement is intended to give students, faculty and other staff ample time to obtain vaccinations before the start of the fall term. Both UC and Cal State have said schools are preparing for mostly in-person instruction and activities this fall.
Students will be required to update immunization documents with their respective universities as they do with other infectious diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. Medical exemptions or approved exceptions will have to be cleared prior to campus arrival, according to the latest notice.
Universities across the country have been facing similar decisions as they plan to resume in-person instruction and vaccine availability has become more widespread. As of April 19, all states in the U.S. are offering vaccinations to people ages 16 and up.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.