California · COVID-19 · Education · Highlight

CSU, UC to require students and staff to receive COVID-19 vaccine

All faculty, staff and students throughout California’s public universities who will be on campus in the fall will be required to have received the COVID-19 vaccine, the California State University and the University of California jointly announced Thursday. 

The requirement is contingent on at least one of the vaccines receiving full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as there being adequate vaccine supply. 

Three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson products – have received emergency approval. 

“Together, the CSU and UC enroll and employ more than one 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, said CSU Chancellor Dr. Joseph Castro in a statement. 

“Consistent with previous CSU announcements related to the university’s response to the pandemic, we are sharing this information now to give students, their families and our employees ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term.” 

The CSU system said it will engage with the California State Student Association, the CSU Academic Senate and labor unions before implementing any changes to the system’s existing immunization requirements. 

All students and employees will have the option to receive an exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. 

“The state of California has been a leader in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, and Californians receiving a vaccine has led to significantly reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in our state,” Castro said. 

“Continued vigilance will further mitigate the spread of the disease that has radically altered our lives over the past year. We will continue to strongly encourage all members of our respective university communities to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it is available to them.” 

The UC system is also allowing its employees and students to seek a medical exemption. 

“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. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at