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California's CSU, UC schools plan to require COVID-19 vaccines for students

The university systems say enforcement would start once the FDA has fully approved at least one vaccine and there are adequate supplies.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Students and faculty are likely to be required to get a COVID-19 shot to attend UC and CSU campuses.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The University of California and California State University systems said Thursday they plan to require that all students and faculty be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they're on campus this fall. 

The UC and CSU systems, with 33 campuses across the state, said the requirement would kick in once the FDA has fully approved at least one vaccine and that adequate supplies of the shots are available. As of now, coronavirus vaccines in the US are being distributed under FDA approval for emergency use. The plan was reported earlier Thursday by the Los Angeles Times

"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, a physician.

Read more: Vaccine passports for COVID-19: How they'll be a part of global travel

UC said the proposed policy requires "personnel, trainees and students accessing university facilities and programs in person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, subject to limited exceptions and exemptions, beginning before the start of the fall 2021 term."

UC and CSU appear to be the first state-wide systems with this requirement, following dozens of private universities like Yale, Georgetown, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia, Cornell and New York University. You can see the full list of colleges requiring a coronavirus vaccine here.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.