Both Cal State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) campuses intend to require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated by the 2021 fall term.

CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro announced that the CSU system would be joining UC President Michael V. Drake in implementing the requirement, although it will not become official until one of the COVID-19 vaccines receives full approval by the FDA and not just emergency authorized use.

“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,” CSU Chancellor Castro said. “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.”

In December 2020, it was announced that CSUs expected to return to nearly full in-person activity by 2021 fall terms. While California was going through a COVID-19 transmission surge at the time, Chancellor Castro said there was “a light at the end of the tunnel” in the form of the produced vaccines.

The UC office of the president said the announcements are being made now to give students and faculty “ample time” to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“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,” UC President Drake said.

UC students will be required to update their immunization records by the fall, barring medical exemption. If students cannot obtain the vaccine, the UC system said it will provide resources to help make appointments.

Both systems note that the vaccinations would be required for students attending on-campus activities, but do not specify if the requirement will be extended to those receiving online-only instruction.

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