The University of California announced Thursday that COVID-19 vaccinations will be required before the fall term begins for all students, faculty and others, becoming the nation’s largest public university system to mandate the vaccines even though they don’t have full federal approval.
As the highly contagious Delta variant spreads amid lower vaccination rates among younger people, unvaccinated students without approved exemptions will be barred from in-person classes, events and campus facilities, including housing — and not all classes will be offered online, a UC memo outlining the mandate said. Physical distancing and mask wearing are expected to continue.
“Vaccination is by far the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death after exposure to the virus and to reduce spread of the disease to those who are not able, or not yet eligible, to receive the vaccine,” UC President Michael V. Drake said in a letter to the system’s 10 chancellors.
He said the final policy was the product of consultation with UC infectious disease experts and ongoing review of evidence from medical studies on the dangers of COVID-19 and emerging variants. UC officials also reviewed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines for preventing infection, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19, and for reducing its spread.
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