California Universities to Require COVID-19 Vaccine 

April 26, 2021 Updated: April 28, 2021

Some California colleges are planning to require full vaccination against COVID-19 in order for students to return to campus this fall.

California State University (CSU) will require proof of inoculation or a medical exemption among staff, faculty, and students, provided at least one vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it said in an April 22 announcement.

The University of California (UC) on April 22 shared details of its proposed policy, which, if approved, would also require students planning to access campuses this fall to update their immunization records or submit approved medical exemption documentation.

Its policy would also be dependent on a COVID-19 vaccine receiving full FDA approval.

“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 Dr. Michael Drake said in a statement.

Together, the two public university systems consist of 33 campuses, including UC–Irvine and California State University–Fullerton.

CSU Chancellor Joseph I. 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.”

Individuals would be able to seek an exemption to the vaccine based on medical or religious grounds.

The vaccine mandate is still under review by the CSU and UC; more details will be announced prior to the start of the fall term.

CSU–Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley recently addressed the planned policy in an email to students, staff, and faculty.

“I believe that this is an important part of safely resuming a full university life back on campus and our progression toward the next normal,” she said.