UC & CSU schools will require all students and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The California State University and University of California systems jointly announced Thursday that they intend to require all students, faculty and staff returning for on-campus classes and activities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The requirement, however, would not take effect until one or more of the COVID vaccines receives “full approval” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are widely available. Current vaccines are being administered under emergency-use authorizations from the FDA.

The universities’ planned vaccination requirement will take effect upon “full approval” occurring or the beginning of the fall semester, whichever is later. Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna are both in what is known as Phase 3 Efficacy Trials and could apply to the FDA for full approval of the vaccines at any time.

CSU and UC officials said the planned requirement will be discussed with faculty and student representatives, along with labor groups. But they opted to announce the planned requirement Thursday so all members of the campus community can start arranging to get vaccinated before the fall term begins.

Both university systems are expected to allow for exemptions based on medical or religious grounds.

“Together, the CSU and UC enroll and employ more than 1 million students and employees across 33 major university campuses, so this is the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country,” CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement. “Consistent with previous CSU announcements related to the university’s response to the pandemic, we are sharing this information now to give students, their families and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term.”

UC President Michael V. Drake added, “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.”

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of California Community Colleges, said decisions about requiring vaccinations at its campuses will be left to individual community college districts across the state. But Oakley urged all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated.

“Californians 16 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated, so we want everyone to take this important step in protecting themselves and their communities so we can put this pandemic behind us,” Oakley said. “With many of our campuses serving as vaccination hubs, we are encouraged by the progress of vaccination deployment in our state.”

KUSI News reached out to SDSU for comment, but they denied our request.

San Diego State University sent the following email to students announcing the decision:

Dear SDSU community,

Both the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems announced today that all students, faculty and staff, including auxiliary employees and on campus contractors will be required to be fully immunized against COVID-19 to access campus facilities this fall.

The CSU, of which SDSU is part, has indicated two important conditions: This requirement is contingent upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and adequate availability of fully approved vaccines.

The CSU indicated that the vaccine requirement will become effective at the beginning of the fall 2021 term, or upon full FDA approval of the vaccine, whichever occurs later.

In announcing the requirement, CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro shared the following:

“Together, the CSU and UC enroll and employ more than one million students and employees across 33 major university campuses, so this is the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country. Consistent with previous CSU announcements related to the university’s response to the pandemic, we are sharing this information now to give students, their families and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term.” 

SDSU, in alignment with the CSU, has a long history of existing immunization requirements, and is committed to keeping our campus community informed as this new policy guidance is developed. For now, and as we have for months, we continue to encourage everyone at SDSU to seek a vaccine appointment as soon as you are able to do so.

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Health