The University of California is requiring all students and faculty on campus this fall to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

UC already encourages students and faculty to take the vaccine as soon as it is available, but under the new policy announced this week, UC Berkeley and the nine other UC campuses will make it a requirement to be vaccinated. Cal State University is also requiring the vaccine.

“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,” UC President Michael V. Drake said in a statement.

Enforcement of the policy is pending the U.S. Food Drug and Administration’s full approval and “widespread availability of at least one vaccine.”

Some people can be exempted based on religious beliefs or medical history, but they will still have to follow safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

UC Berkeley said students will need to update their immunization documentation to show whether they have been vaccinated or received an exemption before coming on campus. The student health centers will be able to help students find a local resource for vaccination.   

In related news, UC Berkeley announced Thursday that it is preparing for the return of a larger number of employees and students to campus beginning Aug. 18 for the fall semester. Some employees will continue to work remotely or in a hybrid schedule.

UC Berkeley with Wheeler Hall and the Campanile.
Wheeler Hall and the Campanile. Credit: UC Berkeley

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