SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Both the University of California and the California State University system are proposing a new policy that would require students and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 come fall.
On Thursday, CSU and UC leaders released a joint statement about the impending vaccination requirement.READ MORE: California Expands Drought Emergency To Large Swath Of State
“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,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro in the statement.
The requirement would mean – starting with the fall 2021 term – all faculty, staff and students who will be on campus will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“If you want to keep going to school but you don’t want to take it, your kind of SOL. A lot of people are going to be against it because it’s like a COVID passport. You are being forced to take it if you want to continue your education,” said Sacramento State student Edwardo Rojas.
While some sac state students are cautious others like Andrew Garcia who hasn’t had his shot yet say they would get vaccinated if it’s required.
“If the school requires it I feel like we will all be safer in a way,” said Garcia.
Sacramento State a current vaccination site for the community has given around 15,000 vaccinations including around 4,000 to faculty and two thousand to their own students.
“We are excited to bring everybody back in the fall. To see the campus flowing with students and faculty and the way to do that is through the vaccines,” said Ed Mills, Sac State VP of Student Affairs.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom Proposes Budget That Would Send $600 Stimulus Checks To Two-Thirds Of Californians
With more than a million students and employees between the two systems, the move would be the largest university COVID directive in the nation.
“The California State University system is going to set a trend for most of the colleges and universities in the area as we have announced at the same time as the University of California system. Together, we are the largest system in the country, so I think that is really going to change a lot of the dynamics,” said Mills.
Legally, the proposal isn’t there yet it’s predicated on FDA regulations that currently only give COVID vaccines special authorization, according to UCSF Epidemiologist, Dr. George Rutherford.
“This needs to move away from emergency use authorization to actual full licensure and these things become easier to mandate,” said Rutherford.
Both the UC and CSU systems have been planning to have most students return to campus by fall.
“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,” said UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D. in a statement.
Students and employees would still be allowed to seek a medical or religious exemption to the requirement, officials say.MORE NEWS: Car Crashes Into Sutter County Home, Catches Fire
The requirement will start with either the beginning of the fall 2021 or full FDA approval of the COVID-19 vaccine, whichever happens later.