Angela Perez Aguilar
June 15, 2021
The University of California says COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for students, faculty and staff starting this fall semester.
The mandate, announced by UC officials Friday, shifts from a previous policy announced in April which would only require immunization if at least one vaccine on the market received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The policy will be effective Aug. 4 — two weeks before the start of the fall term — and is poised to allow “narrow medical exceptions” and will allow petitions for religious exceptions. The university system anticipates having mostly in-person learning by the fall and noted it will continue a “campus testing plan” which will test weekly at a minimum. Those with exceptions will be required to wear masks in public.
“Cases of COVID-19 have been on a steady decline over the last few months and vaccination is the primary driver of this trend,” the announcement read. “Being vaccinated is simply the best protection against COVID-19. A high vaccination rate in our population also helps protect those in our community who cannot be vaccinated. We urge you to get vaccinated now if you are medically able to.”
The UC Immunization Policy since 2016 requires that all students be vaccinated against “diseases that can be passed on to others by respiratory transmission.” The official document lists these as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella/chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Students under 21 were required to receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Now, the COVID-19 vaccine will join these requirements.