HAYWARD (CBS SF) -- California State University officials announced Wednesday that they will require faculty, staff and students who are accessing on-campus facilities to provide proof of a COVID vaccine booster shot by February 2022.
The new requirement calls for boosters to be received by February 28 or six months after an individual received the final dose of the original vaccination.
However, officials said, individual campuses may establish an earlier date for compliance for students and non-represented employees based on local circumstances.
"Vaccination, including a booster when eligible, remains our most effective strategy against infection and severe disease," said CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro. "This is particularly important in light of the rapid rise of cases of COVID-19 throughout the state and nation as the omicron variant spreads. Implementing the booster requirement now will help mitigate the potential spread of the variant on campuses as they repopulate in January after the winter break."
San Francisco State President Lynn Mahoney echoed those sentiments.
"Like many, I have been intently following the news about the emergence of omicron and the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases," Mahoney wrote in a letter to the campus community. "While experts believe that most of our original vaccinations continue to protect us, evidence is mounting that booster shots provide the best protection. Consistent with the proactive approach that SF State University and the California State University have shown since March 2020, we will once again take bold measures to ensure the health of our communities."
As announced previously, the CSU's COVID-19 vaccination policy allows students and employees to seek exemptions on medical and religious grounds.
"There are many details to work out, and I will be sure to share them as they become available, including determining deadlines, developing a plan to ensure compliance and building our capacity to increase access to booster shots on campus in the new year," Mahoney wrote.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a similar order covering health care workers in the state.
In a Twitter video post, Newsom said he was taking the action to make sure there were enough healthy medical workers to handle a possible post-holiday surge in new cases.
"We are all seeing the news and heard what President Biden said today about what's happening across the country, what's happening around the rest of the world with the omicron variant," the governor said. "It's not dissimilar to what's happening here in the state of California. As a consequence, we're stepping up our efforts to get people vaccinated but also get people boosted. That's why today we're moving forward to require all health care workers to be boosted -- get that third shot or at least the second shot if they got the J&J."
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