Those seeking higher education or teaching at any California State University (CSU) will now have to get the COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend, officials announced on Tuesday.
The new requirement will impact all of the students, teachers, and staff, who will now be required to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The university officials said that they are announcing the pending requirement without waiting for any further action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All students, faculty, and staff must certify vaccination no later than September 30, 2021.
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the U.S. CSU comprises 23 campuses, 56,000 facility and staff and 486,000 students. Each year the CSU awards approximately 129,000 degrees.
“The current surge in COVID cases due to the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant is an alarming new factor that we must consider as we look to maintain the health and well-being of students, employees and visitors to our campuses this fall,” said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. “Receiving a COVID vaccine continues to be the best way to mitigate the spread of the virus. We urge all members of the CSU community to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and announcing this requirement now allows members of the CSU community to receive multiple doses of a vaccine as we head into the beginning of the fall term.”
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 610,000 people living in the United States, and there have been over 34 million confirmed cases. In the State of California there have been nearly 4 million confirmed cases and nearly 4 million deaths. Although the flu virus also has claimed lives yearly, the average yearly falls below 34,000 per year in the United States. More than 161 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated.
According to the Center for Disease Control, very few fully vaccinated people will contract the virus and of those, the vast majority will have much milder symptoms than those not vaccinated. Although the vaccine is not FDA approved, the FDA is working on the approval. According to the CDC, approximately 0.0018% of those who received that vaccine have died, possibly as a result of the shot. “FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause,” CDC officials said.
Students and CSU employees wishing to receive their vaccine should contact their campus for availability. Several campuses are serving as host facilities for the vaccine distribution. Medical and religious exemptions are being allowed. In addition, off-campus studies will be more expansive in comparison to the pre-pandemic virtual courses.
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