The University of California system announced that it will require students and faculty to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before on-campus instruction in the fall term.

Proof of full vaccination will be required, barring exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

If students cannot obtain the vaccine, the UC system said it will provide resources to help make appointments.

UC and Cal State leaders had previously said they would wait until a vaccine received full FDA approval to implement mandatory vaccines, but with the upcoming semesters nearing, UCs will go through with the decision.

“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 April.

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

Infectious disease experts from the University of California weighed in on the decision and deemed the vaccines safe and effective against “severe” COVID-19 symptoms and hospitalizations.

“The UC policy reflects our proactive response to the seriousness of a disease that has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States alone as well as to the rise of variants that are more easily transmitted and make widespread vaccination more important than ever,” the UC said Thursday. “The final policy results from a several-month consultation period with the UC community, including faculty and student health physician directors, that revealed their strong support for moving forward with a COVID-19 vaccination requirement now.”

LA Weekly