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How Colleges In California And Across The Country Are Approaching COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements This Fall

A lone pedestrian walks by Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California.
A lone pedestrian walks by Sather Gate on the U.C. Berkeley campus on July 22, 2020 in Berkeley, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Leaders of California’s massive public university systems announced on Thursday that students and employees will need a COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus in the 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 Drake in a written statement sent out jointly with a statement by CSU chancellor Joseph Castro. The UC and Cal State vaccination policies have a big condition: the requirement will be enforced after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves at least one vaccine. None of the three vaccines have FDA approval yet, and there’s no set date for that to happen.

The university systems said students planning to return to campus in the fall should tell their universities whether they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, campuses will help people who haven’t been vaccinated find a place to get the shot. Together, CSU and UC enroll and employ more than one million students and employees across 33 major university campuses. The universities said the announcement is a big deal. So far, Cal State universities had taken a by-campus approach to vaccinations, which did not sit well with all campus employees.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll look at what these new requirements mean for students returning to campus in the fall and get a broader picture of how other colleges around the country are approaching vaccination requirements this fall.

For more on this story, click here to read Adolfo’s story at LAist.


Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC/LAist reporter covering higher education; he tweets @AGuzmanLopez

Alex Kafka, senior editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education who has been following college vaccination requirements nationally; he tweets @AlexanderKafka