The University of California announced Thursday that all of its campuses ― including UCSB ― will require students, faculty, and on-campus personnel to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before in-person fall instruction begins, barring approved exemptions.
In previous proposals, the UC had said it would wait for full FDA approval before mandating vaccinations. Now, the UC has become one of only a few public university systems in the U.S. to impose the mandate, citing additional medical studies that further documented the vaccines’ safety.
Students and faculty can apply for exemptions for medical, disability, or religious reasons, and defer the requirement because of pregnancy, the new policy states. Unvaccinated individuals without an approved exemption or deferral will not be allowed on campus or into any of its facilities, including housing.
Those with approved exemptions and deferrals will be required to wear a mask at all times and “[complete] the daily COVID-19 Symptom Screening Survey” as well as undergo weekly testing, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang wrote in an email to the campus community.
Proof of vaccination or exemption requests must be submitted online two weeks before the first date of fall instruction. For UCSB, fall instruction begins September 23.
“Vaccination is by far the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death after exposure to the virus and to reduce the spread of the disease to those who are not able, or not yet eligible, to receive the vaccine,” said UC President Michael Drake.