California State University will require all faculty, staff and students systemwide to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine booster in order to access campus facilities in person for the spring 2022 term, according to a news release Wednesday.
Booster shots must be received by Feb. 28 or six months after an individual got the final dose of the original vaccine, whichever is later, according to the new policy, but individual campuses will be able to set an earlier deadline based on local circumstances.
"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," CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro said in a statement. "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."
Students and employees can seek medical and religious exemptions, CSU said.
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The new requirement will take effect immediately upon implementation, but union employees won't be subject to the booster mandate until the CSU discusses the policy with union representatives, CSU said.
The California State University system is the largest four-year public university system in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students.