It won’t stop with just the COVID-19 vaccine in the University of California system — UC President Michael Drake has issued an executive order mandating all staff and students to be vaccinated against the flu.
According to The Sacramento Bee, the campus community has until November 19 to fulfill the requirement. However, unlike the COVID vaccination mandate, anyone not wanting to get a flu shot can choose to wear a mask “through the end of the flu season.”
Students taking courses online are exempt from the mandate.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, the potential confluence of infections from COVID-19 and influenza poses a threat to the health and safety of the UC community and the public at large,” UC officials said.
The mandate’s Student FAQ states:
Based on its review of guidance from public health authorities and scientific studies, the University views vaccination against influenza as an important part of actions needed for the safe return to in-person activities as well as for protecting the public health of the surrounding communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing, and the potential confluence with influenza viruses remains a threat to the health and safety of the UC community and the public at large. The potential for a high burden on health care systems continues due to the possibility of both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses circulating at the same time.
In his order, President Drake notes that if one declines the flu vaccine, “routine testing” also could be implemented in addition to the required masking.
Will there be consequences or penalties for those who refuse to go along with the mandate? Both the Student and Employee FAQs refuse to say, merely stating “covered individuals who have not met the requirements of the executive order […] will be required to wear masks or face coverings at UC locations through the end of the flu season even if COVID-19 requirements are loosened.”
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