CALIFORNIA, USA — The University of California is reversing course and will require all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated against the coronavirus this fall.
The San Francisco Chronicle says the decision reverses a proposed policy UC announced in April of requiring vaccinations only after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approved at least one of the three vaccines now being administered under emergency authorization. It's not clear when the FDA will give full approval.
UC has already said it would exempt students from the vaccination requirement if they have medical or religious reasons. Anyone with an approved exemption or accommodation can come back to campus if they remain masked in all public settings and comply with campus testing protocol.
In a letter to campus communities, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive and Campus Provost Lori Kletzer said the exact policy language and systemwide implementation plan are still being crafted, but that the information is being shared to give students and employees time to comply with the mandate.
A finalized policy and updated Q&A are expected by July 15.
Faculty, staff, students and others are expected to comply with the mandate two weeks before returning to campus or another UC location for the fall term, according to the letter.
When the UC published a proposed policy back in April, Ryan King, associate director of media relations for UC, said the following consultation period showed strong support for the policy.
"The consultation period recently ended with strong support among faculty and student health physician directors for proceeding now, to maximize the safety of all campuses and ensure sufficient lead time for compliance during the EUA period and in anticipation of eventual FDA approval," King said in a statement to ABC10.
King added that the vaccine has gone through "the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history" and is demonstrated to be safe and effective.