Written by Justin Culetu
With California recently increasing its vaccine distribution to include anyone over the age of 16, the California State University and University of California college systems announced to their students and faculty that they will be required to receive the vaccination against covid-19 in order to return to in-person activities.
The expected requirement is set to take effect at the start of the fall term, as one or more of the vaccines need to have full FDA approval in order for the schools to mandate the shot. Currently, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being administered under emergency use authorizations from the FDA and have not received full approval. However, they are on track to seek approval within the fall term.
Both of the school systems are still discussing the planned mandate with faculty and student representatives as well as labor groups, but chose to announce the expected requirement in order to give people enough time to get the vaccine. However, the schools will allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons.
In a statement regarding the vaccine mandate plan, CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro stated, “Together, the CSU and UC enroll and employ more than 1 million students and employees across 33 major university campuses, so this is the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country.”
UC President Michael V. Drake also added, “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.”
While the vaccines provide a solution to the long-lasting pandemic, it still remains the choice of the individual if they want to receive it. Considering the short amount of time that this vaccine took to be manufactured, it is still unknown what the long-term effects of it are and if it even provides full immunization. Considering the fact that experts recommend the continuation of masking and social distancing even for the vaccinated, it is well within reason for people to opt-out of receiving the shot for the time being.