California’s public universities have announced in a joint agreement that it will be mandatory for students to be fully vaccinated at the start of the fall semester.
The 10 campuses of the University of California system and the California State University (CSU) system with its 23 campuses will jointly require vaccinations.
This announcement follows many other colleges and university announcement of mandatory vaccines for their students.
The UC system has more than 280,000 students, and the CSU system has more than 485,000 students, making it the largest public college system in the U.S. and the largest to require vaccinations.
CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro lauded the requirement saying, “This is the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for Covid-19 vaccines in the country.”
Rutgers University was the first university to require vaccines for its students, followed by dozens of other colleges and universities.
Universities that are mandating vaccinations are spread across the country and include Stanford University, Duke University, the University of Notre Dame, Ivy League universities Cornell and Brown, and Northeastern University are just some colleges and universities lining up to require vaccinations.
Many have exemptions for religious and medical reasons, but those students will be required to have frequent Covid-19 tests.
Stemming the tide
Universities have struggled to stem the tide of Covid infections and outbreaks on campus.
Campuses with residential housing have been hotbeds of virus spread due to the proximity of students to each other in dorms, at parties, and in off-campus housing in locations such as college apartments and fraternity and sorority houses.
Colleges and health officials laud these moves. “Vaccinations are an important tool for making the fall semester safe,” said Antonio Calcado, head of the Rutgers University Covid-19 task force.
However, some colleges have decided to allow students to choose whether or not to vaccinate the student.
While some universities are giving students a choice, colleges who are mandating vaccines believe they have a solid legal ground for these requirements.
They cite a court case in California last year that upheld the flu shot requirement in the UC system.
To assist students in becoming immunized, many campuses have held vaccination drives to make sure students are vaccinated before they leave campus for a home for the summer.
Thirty-seven states are now vaccinating people ages 16 and up, and Pfizer reportedly will soon ask FDA permission to vaccinate children as young as 12.
As vaccinations becoming more widely available and adults begin to shun the shot, experts predict more colleges will require students to be immunized before the fall semester begins in a few months.