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California State University, Fullerton
Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery

CSU COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Tuesday July 27, 2021 10:50 am

Dear Titan Family:

On April 22, 2021, the California State University (CSU) announced that it was joining the University of California (UC) in requiring all faculty, staff, and students who are accessing facilities at any campus to be immunized against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). At that time, the UC and the CSU stated that this vaccination policy would take effect at the beginning of the fall 2021 term or upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting full approval of the vaccine – whichever occurred later.

However, a few weeks ago, the UC accelerated the policy’s start date, announcing that their campuses would implement the vaccine requirement at the beginning of the fall semester without waiting for further action from the FDA. Earlier today, the CSU Office of the Chancellor made a similar announcement, stating that all CSU faculty, staff, and students must either be fully immunized or receive an approved exemption before returning to any campus facility at any university location – even if the FDA has not yet changed the status of the vaccines from Emergency Use Authorization to full approval. 

For Cal State Fullerton, the policy is effective immediately with the expectation that all Titans returning to campus will have at least received their first vaccination dose by August 17, 2021, which is the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year. This allows for all returning Titans to be fully vaccinated (meaning at least two weeks have passed after the final dose in their respective vaccine regimen) by the September 30, 2021, deadline imposed by the Chancellor’s Office. 

The acceleration of this vaccination policy is supported by a growing library of medical evidence that underscores the danger of emerging variants and the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in preventing the spread of the disease and drastically reducing serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. The change also tracks with a promise I made on March 15, 2021, when I wrote the following in a campus-wide email: “While we urge every Titan to get vaccinated, it is not currently required. However, if we do not reach our goal of widespread vaccinations throughout our campus community, we will likely need to adjust our in-person transition plans.” 

Titan Family, while I am proud of and grateful for all of you who have embraced the responsibility to protect yourselves and our community by receiving the vaccine, we have not yet reached our goal of widespread vaccinations – not on our campus, not in our state, and not in our nation. And while this policy to mandate vaccines regardless of any further action from the FDA comes from the system office, not our campus, we at Cal State Fullerton recognize our responsibility to lead the efforts to uphold it. We are, after all, the largest (and dare I say best) CSU, and just as our twin pandemic touchstones — upholding the health and safety of our communities and providing uninterrupted paths to degree — have become the North Stars by which so many campuses are navigating this pandemic, we must now stand even taller in leading the efforts to safeguard our communities and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The vaccine is not only our most effective and safest tool in that endeavor, but also the key to the return of the engaging in-person Titan experience that we all love and deserve. To that end, and in light of today’s announcement from the CSU, we are working to offer free on-campus vaccination sites similar to the ones we provided last semester through our partnership with St. Jude. In the meantime, the vaccine continues to be widely available at most retail pharmacies and medical facilities. To find your nearest vaccination site, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov/.

And finally, the acceleration of our systemwide vaccination policy is also just the right and responsible thing to do. Titan students signed up for classes, and faculty and staff made plans to return to campus to teach and work based upon an expectation that our classrooms and communities would be safe and all Titans would be vaccinated. This slight change in the timing of this policy empowers our campus to honor those expectations and better fulfill our promise to put health and safety first. 

The full policy from the CSU will be made available in the coming days, but you can view the press release from the Chancellor’s Office here.

Faculty and staff will soon receive follow-up information directly from our Division of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion (HRDI) regarding implementation details. Any further questions can be directed to your direct supervisor or HRDI at vphr@fullerton.edu.

Similarly, students will soon receive further information from the Office of the Dean of Students. Any further inquiries from students can be directed to deanofstudents@fullerton.edu.

The Frequently Asked Questions section of our Titans Return website is also fully updated to include many of the FAQs related to this policy.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and perseverance as we strive to adapt to and overcome the ever-evolving challenges of this pandemic. As the light at the end of the tunnel continues to shine a bit brighter, I am honored to work toward it with each of you. I know that we will soon step into that light on our beautiful campus, together and as one Titan Family.

Sincerely,

Fram Virjee
President