Why schools must require medical and religious exemptions for vaccine mandates
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.