The University of California today (April 22) shared the details of a proposed policy on COVID-19 vaccination as part of its engagement with its community as it joins the California State University in supporting immunizations as part of an expected return of students, faculty, academic appointees and staff to in-person instruction across the state this 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. 

“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. “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.”

Given the importance of vaccination, UC is engaging its community in a discussion of the details of the proposed policy now so that students, faculty, academic appointees and staff will have ample time to obtain the vaccine ahead of the fall term.

Under the proposed policy, the University would require students, faculty, academic appointees and staff who are accessing campus facilities at any UC location beginning this fall to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. UC already strongly encourages students, faculty, academic appointees and staff to voluntarily obtain a vaccination as soon as they are eligible and able to schedule an appointment. The requirement would go into effect once a vaccine has full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Students planning to access UC campuses for the fall will need to update their immunization documentation on file to indicate vaccination or an approved exception or medical exemption prior to coming on campus. For those who are unable to receive a vaccine prior to campus arrival, student health centers may be able to help find a local resource for vaccination but special protections may be required. Faculty, academic appointees and staff will be advised on the process for providing vaccination information after a policy is finalized.  

With an increasing number of people expected to return to UC locations, vaccination is essential for the safety and well-being of the community. Additionally, physical distancing, mask-wearing and frequent hand-washing and cleaning will continue to be crucial for daily campus life.