CSU system will require COVID-19 vaccines upon full FDA approval

Valley Children's Healthcare nurses were present at the clinic to administer the first dosage of the Pfizer vaccine to eligible Fresno State community members. (Gabriel Camarillo/The Collegian)

The California State University system announced a plan on Thursday to require the COVID-19 vaccine once one or more vaccines have received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As plans continue to reopen many in-person classes for the fall 2021 semester, the CSU system intends on implementing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for reentry during the fall 2021 semester.

If the FDA gives full approval to one or more vaccines before the fall, the requirement will be enforced at the beginning of the fall term.

According to the news release, the CSU system joined the University of California system in announcing that the universities intend to require faculty, staff and students who are accessing campus facilities at any university location to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The announcement comes in light of the rapid effort of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to the general public. 

As yesterday, over 200 million Americans have received one or two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to U.S. President Joe Biden.

The CSU system emphasized it is still awaiting full approval of the vaccines from the FDA before requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, employees and students may ask for an exemption of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement should they have a religious or medical basis for their exemption. 

The vaccine requirement is slated to become effective for the beginning of the fall 2021 semester across the CSU campuses.

“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,” said CSU Chancellor Dr. Joseph I. Castro. 

Prior to the announcement, Fresno State Interim President Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval said in an ASI meeting on Jan. 27 that the best-case scenario is that 85% of the campus population is vaccinated for a safe campus repopulation during the fall 2021 semester.

Details have yet to be finalized for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the reentry of the fall 2021 semester and will be posted when they are made available.

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