California State University and University of California announced plans to require faculty, students and staff to be vaccinated prior to fall 2021’s return to in-person instruction.
According to a statement released by the CSU system on Tuesday, immunization will be a requirement if one or more of the current COVID-19 vaccines are fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration and once there are enough vaccines to distribute.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccine were authorized by the FDA under emergency use authorization but were not fully approved. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was also previously approved for emergency use but has since been pulled back because of a possible link to blood clots.
The plan is to be carried out at the start of the fall 2021 term or upon full approval of the vaccines, whichever occurs later, the statement read.
Cerise Metzger, a Cal State Fullerton media representative, said if a vaccine does not receive FDA approval until November, then the vaccine would not be required until November.
The university will offer exemptions for students with medical or religious reasons, Metzger said.
“This is a California State University systemwide decision and all CSU universities will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any university location to be immunized,” Metzger said.
The lack of a requirement for the COVID-19 vaccine is a concern for some students, while others said that the campus community should have the right to choose if they want to be immunized.
“Given the current recommendations from local, state, and national health agencies, this decision assures the safest route for a return to the vibrant, enriching, and high-impact campus and educational community that is more easily and effectively provided with in-person options,” said Fram Virjee, CSUF president.