California State Universities announced that it will be requiring students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are going to be present on campuses.

The universities had previously said they would wait for full FDA approval of the COVID-19 vaccines before making vaccinations a requirement, but “evolving circumstances” have led them to make the move now.

“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,” CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said Tuesday. “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.”

Pfizer-BioNtech has been granted a review for full FDA authorization, an approval would likely not happen until 2022.

Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino addressed the new requirements, saying, “Throughout the pandemic, our community has demonstrated care and compassion for each other. Thank you for your continued assistance and flexibility as we implement this requirement.”

If students cannot be vaccinated, the universities expect to offer more robust online instruction options.

On July 16, the University of California system announced that it would be requiring full vaccinations from students and faculty as well.

Like the UC system, the Cal State’s vaccination requirements will offer religious and medical exemptions.

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