UC proposes policy to mandate COVID-19 vaccine beginning fall semester

Image of woman preparing vaccine
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According to a press release by the UC Office of the President, a proposed policy would mandate UC community members, including UC Berkeley students, to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations in the fall semester. Students will be required to update their immunication documentation to include their vaccination or approved exception prior to returning to campus.

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Inklings of COVID-19 vaccination requirements for returning UC Berkeley students emerged Thursday as the UC system proposed a policy mandating the vaccine.

The policy would require students, faculty, academic appointees and staff who access any UC facilities in the coming fall semester to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, according to a press release from the UC Office of the President. The proposed policy was shared now to give the UC community ample time to begin voluntarily receiving immunizations once eligible. 

According to the press release, the requirement will go into effect when a vaccine is fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the press release.

“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 the press release.

Both the UC and California State University systems are encouraging vaccinations among all students and staff, which together total more than one million students and employees across 33 university campuses, according to the press release.

Under the policy, students will need to update their immunization documentation to reflect their vaccination or approved exception prior to returning to a UC campus, the press release reads. Student health centers may be able to assist in finding local vaccine resources for students unable to receive their immunization.

Once the policy is finalized, faculty, academic appointees and staff will receive information on the process for providing vaccine documentation, according to the press release.

As the proposed policy and expected influx of returning students heralds a return to normalcy, social distancing, mask-wearing and regular hand-washing will continue to be enforced across all UC campuses.

Check back for updates.

Maxine Mouly is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @moulymaxine.