The protocols and requirements for UC and Cal States will become mandatory in order for students to return to in-person learning on campus.
By Megan Reyes, Staff Writer
The California university systems announced on April 22 a requirement that all students, faculty and staff on campus properties get COVID-19 vaccinations this fall once the FDA gives formal approval.
The announcement for COVID-19 vaccines to be a requirement gives students and employees time to plan their vaccinations before the fall terms begin. The directive would allow for students or employees to seek an exemption based on medical or religious grounds. Current UC requirements for vaccinations against such illnesses as measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox allow for medical exemptions.
“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,” Cal State Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in an LA Times Article.
Both the UC and Cal State systems plan for mostly in-person instruction and activities this fall, although the degree will vary by campus. Campuses are expected to continue safety practices like masking, distancing and hand-washing.
UC officials have been working on a policy which concludes that vaccines were the most important tool to safely increase density on campuses. Students and campus faculty who receive an approved Exception or Medical Exemption may decline the COVID-19 vaccine by completing a Vaccine Declination Form and submitting it to the health care provider, Location Vaccine Authority — the office responsible for implementing a vaccination program for a location.
According to the University of California draft policy, “Individuals, including personnel and students, must receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to access University Facilities and Programs in person, unless they have been granted an Exception or Medical Exemption and submitted a Declination Form to the Location Vaccine Authority.”
As for California community colleges, they would let the system’s 73 local districts make the decisions on the vaccination policy. LACCD has not yet decided whether they would require vaccines.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley encouraged students, faculty and staff to get a COVID-19 shot to speed a return to in-person instruction.
“Everyone should make a plan now to get vaccinated if they haven’t already,” said the California native.
UC president Michael V. Drake made it essential for students and faculty to get inoculations in order to return to in-person learning as soon as possible.
“Vaccinations are 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,” Drake told the LA Times.