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UC releases plan to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff

The University of California announced Thursday that it plans to require employees and students to receive a vaccine before returning to campus in the fall. The University won’t enforce the proposed policy until the Food and Drug Administration fully approves a vaccine. (Ariana Fadel/Daily Bruin)

By Saumya Gupta

April 22, 2021 2:51 p.m.

The University of California released a proposed plan Thursday that would require employees and students at all UC campuses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall.

The UC will not enforce the policy until the Food and Drug Administration fully approves a vaccine. The three COVID-19 vaccines currently in use – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – were approved under Emergency Use Authorization and do not have a FDA license.

Students, faculty, staff and academic appointees must receive their COVID-19 vaccine or receive an approved exemption and submit a declination form by the start of fall quarter in order to access campus facilities or programs in-person, according to the proposed policy.

People with a religious or medical exemption may decline to receive the vaccine, according to the policy.

The policy comes following the UC and California State University’s partnership in supporting vaccinations as students and employees return to campus for fall instruction.

“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 Castro in a UC press release.

In January, the University of California announced plans to return to mostly in-person operations and offer mostly in-person instruction, citing the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Students who plan to return to campus in-person and will access campus facilities need to update their immunization documentation to show proof of vaccination or evidence of an approved exemption before they return to campus, according to the press release. If they aren’t able to receive a vaccine before their return, their student health center may help them find a location.

“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 Drake in the press release.

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Saumya Gupta | Assistant News editor
Gupta is the 2020-2021 assistant News editor for the national news and higher education beat. She was previously a contributor for the beat. She is also a third-year psychology student.
Gupta is the 2020-2021 assistant News editor for the national news and higher education beat. She was previously a contributor for the beat. She is also a third-year psychology student.
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