The University of California and California State University systems announced Thursday that they plan to require that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated before returning to campuses in the fall.
The announcements are the largest vaccine requirement directives that U.S. higher education has yet seen, according to the Los Angeles Times, impacting more than 1 million members of the two public university systems.
The requirements, however, are not yet final. Both universities are waiting for a vaccine to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before putting the directives into effect. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are both being administered under an emergency-use authorization from the FDA.
According to the Los Angeles Times, health experts expect that at least one will receive formal approval by the fall.
The University of California added that the requirement is contingent on “adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines.”
In a press release announcing the proposed policy, University of California President Michael V. Drake said receiving a vaccine is a “key step” in helping the campus bring an end to the pandemic.
“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,” Drake said.
California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said the school system is sharing this information now to give students, their families and employees “ample time to make plans to be vaccinated prior to the start of the fall term.”
The two university systems join more than 60 colleges nationwide that will require all students to be vaccinated in the fall, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Last week, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement calling for a temporary halt of the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, which had also received emergency-use authorization after six cases of rare blood clots were reported among recipients.