UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Channel Islands and the other 30 public four-year universities in California will require students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they return to campus in the fall, the University of California and California State University systems announced April 22.
The requirement will only go into effect once the FDA issues full approvals for vaccines, rather than the current emergency use authorizations, and if there are adequate supplies of vaccines.
UC and CSU campuses have been operating remotely since March 2020, with a few exceptions for science labs and other hands-on classes. Both systems plan to resume mostly in-person instruction in the fall.
“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 news release. “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.”
Both university systems already require students to be vaccinated against diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Those requirements allow for exemptions on medical or religious grounds, and the CSU and UC said the COVID-19 vaccination mandate would have similar exemptions.
The vaccination mandates are not finalized for either university system. Both the CSU and UC released draft versions on April 22 and said they still had to work out some of the details with employee unions, faculty leaders and student representatives.