The University of California has proposed a new policy, through which it requires all its returning students to get a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) before returning to fall semester 2021.
According to Erudera.com, the policy will come into force only when the vaccines against COVID-19 are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“We understand that there may be some remote instructions available as well because we do have learners from all over the world whose circumstances continue to evolve, but the intention is to highlight and continue to return to in-person learning as many ways as we possibly can,” the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, Alysson Satterlund said, while added that most of the classes will be held in-person during September this year, university’s student newspaper UCSD Guardian reports.
Once the policy comes into force, international students who have not received any COVID-19 vaccine will not be permitted to enter the university’s campus, nor will students claiming that the reason for preventing them from getting the vaccine is a medical condition.
Following this decision, the Associated Students international senator Dakssh Saraf said that it is necessary for everyone to understand that many international students will not be able to return to the US in time to pursue studies.
“To create that remote learning for these students is very essential for the continuation of education,” Saraf said.
Over 100 other universities across the United States have made COVID-19 vaccination obligatory for all students before returning to campus.
One of these institutions is Harvard University, which has required its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus at the beginning of fall term.
In addition to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton University have also specified that they will not allow students back to campus in case the latter are not COVID-19 vaccinated.
Vaccination against COVID-19 has also been made mandatory for students of John Hopkins University. The university is expected to return to in-person activities in the fall of this year.
California is one of the states hosting the highest number of international students in the United States. There are more than 160,000 students enrolled at higher education institutions in California, 8,000 of whom pursue studies in UC San Diego. A total of 20 and 25 percent of students are pursuing studies online due to the pandemic, and not all of them are expected to return.
Six vaccines have so far been approved by the World Health Organization, including Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India, Janssen, Moderna, and Sinopharm.