UC Berkeley announces update on vaccination mandate

Photo of COVID 19 vaccine
U.S. Secretary of Defense/Creative Commons
The UC system will employ a vaccination mandate that will go into effect Aug 4. University Health Services will provide vaccines to all unvaccinated faculty, staff and students; students who have been vaccinated off-campus are required to upload a record of their vaccination to eTang. ( U.S. Secretary of Defense under CC BY-SA 2.0 )

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As UC Berkeley and the rest of the UC system look toward in-person instruction for the fall, campus provided updates on the systemwide vaccine mandate.

UC President Michael Drake confirmed that the UC system will employ the mandate effective Aug. 4, according to an email from University Health Services, or UHS, Assistant Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette. The final version of the policy will be issued by July 15, the email adds.

“In the United States, everyone 12 years of age or older is eligible for the vaccine free of charge,” the email reads. “The vaccines are extremely safe and highly effective — we strongly recommend that everyone gets vaccinated.”

Students, staff and faculty will be able to request medical exemptions in line with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The policy also includes exceptions for religious belief and disability accommodations, according to the email.

Those who receive exemptions or accommodations are asked to continue to wear masks in public spaces and get tested at least once a week, as per campus guidelines. Staff without the vaccine or exemptions will not be allowed to work on campus, the email notes.

“Cases of COVID-19 have been on a steady decline over the last few months and vaccination is the primary driver of this trend,” the email reads. “A high vaccination rate in our population also helps protect those in our community who cannot be vaccinated.”

Students who are vaccinated outside of campus are required to upload a record of their vaccination to eTang. All faculty, students and staff are eligible to receive a free vaccine without an appointment through UHS.

International students and other campus members outside of the United States will be able to attend classes after a quarantine period if they are in the process of getting vaccinated.

Further information on general implementation and location-specific guidance will be available by mid-July, the email adds.

Check back for updates.

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.